Super-fast fibre broadband arrives in the UK's first Fibrecity

Fibre will be laid in sewers throughout Bournemouth

Fibre is the future of broadband in the UK. While 50Mbps cable trials have already taken place over Virgin Media’s network, the rest of us need to find a way of making our more ordinary net connections sing.

Fibre provider H2O Networks has announced its first so-called Fibrecity will be Bournemouth, with mile upon mile of fibre put underground. But as we’ve previously reported on TechRadar, the company has a somewhat innovative way of wiring up the UK – by using its 360,000 miles of sewer pipes.

The company has a patented FS (Fibre Optical Cable Underground Sewer) System it says causes 80 per cent less disruption than the laying of a traditional fibre connection. A 20 mm wide slot is channelled into the road in order to lay the cable.

Up to 100 Mbps

H2O says the network will bring new business opportunities through home working plus better video conferencing and file transfers. Households will benefit from faster broadband, "up to 100 Mbps" and so will be able to easily access internet video streaming and IPTV.

For Bournemouth, work will begin within the next six months, bringing next generation broadband to all in the town, amounting to some 88,000 homes. H2O says the work will cost around £30 million.

"Bournemouth is incredibly privileged to have been chosen as the UK's first Fibrecity," said Councillor Nick King, the Council's Member for Communications.

"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."

More Fibrecities will follow, with a location in Scotland set to be announced.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.