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H2O Networks Touts Dark Fibre Broadband Solution
By: MarkJ - 20 February, 2008 (1:13 PM)

H2O Networks, a North West-based provider of fibre optic networking that can be delivered via the UK's underground sewer system (FS), has once again heralded "dark fibre" as a solution to the countries broadband bandwidth woes:

“Dark fibre is a much overlooked, but totally viable solution to solve the UK’s bandwidth needs,” said Elfed Thomas, managing director, H2O Networks. He continued: “BT set the bandwidth tariff about 30 years ago and not only is it hugely expensive, it is also extremely restrictive. No-one could have predicted the current levels of demand for bandwidth, so the future lies with dark fibre.”

H2O Networks is keen to encourage the take up of dark fibre and is offering a unique local fibre service for £699 per month with no connection fee. And, regardless of bandwidth requirements (100Mbps, 200Mbps or Gigabit), the price remains the same; additional fibres will be charged at a price of 0.25p:

The low cost platform provided by FS can be implemented 80% faster than traditional methods and there is no need for the complex negotiations that come with getting the permission to dig up the roads and pavements. As existing networks become increasingly congested with cables of all types, it has become much more difficult for network companies to find new pathways.

The cost advantages of an H2O network mean that not only is it cheaper to install, but it offers a fixed term cost rather than bandwidth tariffs. The bandwidth is hugely scalable and so will cope with the evolution of technology and the capacity this will eat up for the foreseeable future. Every city and town has ready-made ducts that can be used without causing disruption.

An additional advantage is that the cables lie at depths of up to 5m below the ground, compared with 450mm for conventional cables, making it far more secure, particularly in disaster recovery situations.

However, H20 claims that despite the technologies advantages, "no carriers are willing to sell it". We suspect that this might have more to do with the market uncertainty surrounding the UKs undecided direction for next generation broadband networks.

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