Really Dark Fiber: Web Access via Sewers - Case Studies and More on the Technology
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The organization that took advantage of H2O Network’s services most recently is the University of Aberdeen. It is setting up a high capacity link for its students for the next 10 years that will allow them to access the Internet from their dorm rooms. “Making University life as rich as possible for our students is the main aim of everything we do,” explained Garry Wardrope, the university’s network services manager. “When embarking on our ‘Internet to the room’ project, we wanted a cost-effective method that would offer the kind of bandwidth students demand when researching for course projects or writing their dissertations.” The university boasts 13,000 students and more than 3,000 staff members, and the new system should be ready to welcome them for the fall term.
In the education environment, H2O Network’s advantage of lower costs really counts. “While universities strive to provide students with the best learning environment possible, cost and pricing models will often dictate the choice made,” observed Elfed Thomas, managing director of H2O Networks. “With our FS Focus System, we are offering high bandwidth via an environmentally friendly network, through a fixed low cost rental model. Our solution addresses all the issues affecting public sector purchasing decisions today.”
The Bournemouth Borough Council is another recent H2O customer. By March of this year, more than 1,400 yards of H2O Network’s 18mm fiber optic cable had been laid through the town’s sewer network. Taking its standard approach, the company pushed the cable through ready-made ducts and avoided digging up roads. Bob Rhodes, IT manager for Bournemouth Borough Council, was delighted by the “tremendous cost saving” afforded by H2O’s work on the project. He also praised the sturdiness of the connections: “This is ideal for resilience. Going deep in the sewers it is less likely to be hit by a JCB digger. It gives us complete alternative routing.” Additionally, the armored cabling is strong enough to prevent rats from chewing through it and taking out the communications network.
Indeed, H2O Networks is justifiably proud of its technology. As mentioned, its cables are rodent proof. Furthermore, they are laid at depths of more than five yards below the surface, as compared with less than 18 inches for conventional cables. This kind of security is attractive to both public and private sector companies. H2O Networks further notes that its cable does not affect the performance of the sewers, and can be used for anything because they only provide the dark fiber circuit. All of their networks are built to the standards of the International Telecommunications Union.
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