Dundee to become the first Scottish Fibrecity

New fibre network will bring connectivity and broadband speeds of up to 100 Mbps to homes and businesses in the city.

Dundee’s sewers will soon be used to deliver next generation ultra high speed connectivity and broadband to every home, business and organisation in the city. H2O Networks Ltd, the pioneer of Fibrecity, has today announced it will be putting fibre optic cable which is capable of speeds in excess of 100 Mbps into the city’s sewer pipes.

Dundee has a thriving technology and digital entertainment industry and will be the first Scottish city to benefit from H2O’s Fibrecity network. Work will begin within the next six months and the majority of the fibre will be put in the sewers using H2O’s patented FS (Fibre Optical Cable Underground Sewer) System at the company’s own expense.

Fibrecity will bring fibre connectivity to more than 55,000 homes in Dundee. This is in addition to the 88,000 homes it will be connecting in Bournemouth, making Fibrecity the largest Fibre to the Home (FTTH) project in Europe.

Dundee City Council has linked two city centre offices using H2O’s ultra high speed network in order to share information quickly and simply, and was keen for Dundee to be the first Scottish Fibrecity.

Convener of Dundee City Council’s economic development committee, Joe Morrow, said: “Dundee is already a recognised leader, not just in biotechnology and digital media, but in the use of technology to benefit its communities.

“I am sure that the plans revealed in this announcement will provide even more opportunities for the business community in Dundee to gain competitive advantage, and to keep the city at the forefront of the broadband economy.

“This £30m private sector investment and other technological advances being pioneered in Dundee, cement the city’s moves towards becoming a hub for information age products and services.”

The benefits of Fibrecity are vast and will help to attract new businesses and investment into the city. Other benefits include:

  • Businesses will be able to transfer files and documents between offices with no time delays
  • Greater bandwidth will enable people to work from home more easily, allowing flexible working
  • Households can benefit from faster broadband, up to 100 Mbps, and so can have access to much higher quality services such as telephone calls over the Internet, video streaming and IPTV.

Elfed Thomas, CEO of H2O Networks said: “Dundee is the most densely populated city in Scotland, but this project will see us bringing connectivity to more remote areas as Fibrecity is an all inclusive solution.”

“Many households and broadband customers have insufficient connectivity bandwidths because they are attached to legacy networks deployed in the 20th Century that just can’t cope with demand. Our solution is a totally new

network that does not try to connect old and new cables. With speeds in excess of 100 Mbps, it brings us right into the 21st Century and beyond.”

Fibrecity deployments are far kinder to the environment than traditional methods and upto 80% faster to deploy, as the sewer is a ready-made duct which means the expensive and environmentally unfriendly method of digging up the roads is unnecessary and disruption to the road infrastructure is kept to a minimum.

Chris Banks, commercial director, Scottish Water said: “Scottish Water is pleased that Dundee has successfully bid to become the first Fibrecity in Scotland. H2O’s innovative programme of using the waste water network to channel high-speed Internet is a smart way of limiting the environmental impact and traffic issues normally associated with installing and maintaining utility networks. We will be working with H2O to give them access to our network and will help facilitate this exciting project.”

Where the sewers are not viable, H2O Networks will install the cable using its patented BMD (Blown Mini Duct) system. With this method, a small, 20 millimetres wide slot is channelled into the road in order to lay the cable. This is not a civil dig and will cause minimal disruption to the local area.

Technical information on Fibrecity

  • Fibrecity will deploy fibre for the whole community
  • It will allow a more cost effective platform for wireless for inner city use
  • Fibrecity will allow ultra high bandwidth to be experienced in the home
  • Provides local councils a more cost effective basis to communicate to its community
  • Attract inward investment from companies who want and need super fast communications capabilities
  • Offer Hospitals and Emergency Services a higher level of connectivity at lower costs.

For further information please contact:
Fiona Whyatt
+44 (0)1625 500 800

About H2O Networks
Formed in 2002, H2O Networks is a pioneer of deploying dark fibre in the UK’s waste water network to enable connectivity to those that have limited access.

The Focus System (Fibre Optical Cable Underground Sewer) from H2O Networks is a fast and cost-effective way to lay cable and link up any location without the high costs and disruption caused by traditional cabling methods.

Bournemouth becomes the UK’s first Fibrecity

H2O Networks’ high speed fibre is the answer to the UK’s next generation broadband and connectivity issues

H2O Networks Ltd, the pioneer of providing fibre connectivity via the UK’s 360,000 miles of sewers, has today announced that the UK’s first Fibrecity will be Bournemouth. Work will begin on the deployment of the fibre within the next six months, bringing next generation broadband and connectivity to all homes and businesses in the town.

This will be the largest Fibrecity project in Europe and the company will be funding and providing the network at a cost of around £30 million. The majority of the fibre will be put in the sewers using H2O Networks’ patented FS (Fibre Optical Cable Underground Sewer) System. The fibre will provide ultra high bandwidth to all Bournemouth’s businesses and more than 88,000 homes at speeds far exceeding current DSL or cable modem speeds, typically by tens or even hundreds of Mbps.
Bournemouth Borough Council was keen to see the town become the first Fibrecity as, not only is it renowned as a tourist destination, it is also a regional centre of education and business. Some of the benefits Fibrecity will bring include:

  • Video conferencing will help social workers to protect and keep the vulnerable safe
  • Real time monitoring of traffic using CCTV will enable urban traffic control
  • Faster broadband speeds will improve the use of ICT in schools which is an essential part of education
  • Businesses will be able to transfer files and documents between offices with no time delays
  • Greater bandwidth will enable people to work from home more easily, allowing flexible working
  • Households can benefit from faster broadband, up to 100 Mbps, and so can have access to much higher quality services such as telephone calls over the Internet, video streaming and IPTV.

Councillor Nick King, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Communications, said: “Bournemouth is incredibly privileged to have been chosen as the UK’s first Fibrecity. This decision is a giant leap forward and gives us a real competitive advantage. Bournemouth really needs to embrace the many advantages that being a Fibrecity will bring and I am sure it will bring massive rewards to all homes and businesses that sign up to the services that this network will enable.

The Council has already installed H2O Networks’ high speed fibre to its offices and the Bournemouth International Centre and Pavilion Theatre, so we are aware of the difference this type of connectivity can make.”

Elfed Thomas, CEO of H2O Networks said: “This is just the start of bringing next generation connectivity to the UK. We will be announcing more towns and cities which will benefit from Fibrecity over the coming months, and plan to have a nationwide network deployed over the next few years.

“Many households and broadband customers in the UK have insufficient connectivity bandwidths because they are attached to legacy networks deployed in the 20th Century that just can’t cope with demand. Our solution brings us right into the 21st Century and beyond, with speeds in excess of 100Mbps.”

Fibrecity deployments are far kinder to the environment than traditional methods of fibre deployment, as the sewer is a ready-made duct which means the expensive and environmentally unfriendly method of digging up the roads is unnecessary and disruption to the road infrastructure is kept to a minimum. In addition, the system is at least 80 per cent faster than traditional methods.

Where the sewers are not viable, H2O Networks will install the cable using its patented BMD (Blown Mini Duct) system. With this method, a small, 20 millimetres wide slot is channelled into the road in order to lay the cable. This is not a civil dig and will cause minimal disruption to the local area.