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Really Dark Fiber: Web Access via Sewers
By: Terri Wells
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    2007-08-29

    Table of Contents:
  • Really Dark Fiber: Web Access via Sewers
  • Advantages of Sewer-based Dark Fiber
  • Case Studies and More on the Technology
  • Competition and Future Outlook

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    Really Dark Fiber: Web Access via Sewers - Advantages of Sewer-based Dark Fiber


    (Page 2 of 4 )

    A sewer-based installation of dark fiber offers a number of advantages over more conventional types of installation. A conventional installation of communication cables necessitates tearing up the streets and diverting traffic in construction projects that could last for months. Companies that want to set up networks often need to negotiate permission to dig, which can add significant costs to a network connection project.

    The UK’s waste water network runs for 360,000 miles. It was originally built in the Victorian era, and has stood the test of time. It’s local to towns and cities, so it makes sense to use it for creating a network that will connect people and data. H2O Networks’ Fibre Optical Cable Underground Sewer System (Focus) is a patent-pending system that takes advantage of the network that is already in place.

    H2O Systems says that its Focus System reduces road digging by up to 80 percent, and often doesn’t require getting any permission for digging at all. The firm can lay more than 2000 yards of cable in a single day. It has been granted access to at least 80 percent of the UK’s sewer network, so it should be able to keep building for quite some time. And without needing to dig, “A network can be operational within weeks rather than months,” notes H2O’s Carl Cumiskey.

    H2O Networks has found a niche in building custom fiber networks to the requirements of its customers and then renting capacity from the cable deployed. Users must rent at least one pair of fibers, for as little as one year all the way up to 10 years. After the network is built, H2O Networks offers a high level of support and gives its customers the option to reserve additional capacity over the term of the contract. This is available through the company’s Derestricted Access Route Connections (darc) plan.

    H2O Networks sees its system as being useful to companies in both the public and private sectors. In the public sector, it believes that it systems would be particularly useful for colleges and universities, hospitals, and local government authorities (councils). In the private sector, it believes that companies in need of very secure IT networks and multi-site networking would want to use its system.

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