Skip Navigation

Bournemouth picked for fibre roll-out by H2O networks
Thursday 08 May 2008 09:08:50 by Andrew Ferguson

January saw the news that H2O networks were looking at running fibre connections through the sewer network to provide 100Mbps connections to homes. Bournemouth has now been announced as the town to be the first on the roll-out calendar according to the BBC.

H2O Networks is investing some £30 million in the service that will be available to some 88,000 homes and businesses in the area. The project far exceeds the size of the fibre to the home system planned for Ebbsfleet. The website for FibreCity provides some more details on the project and should provide details of the various packages once available.

If the take-up of the service is enough to make the investment worthwhile then we should see more towns getting the H2O treatment. One real danger for the early entrants to the fibre to the home market is that if it is successful the big players may muscle in and use their marketing might to retain market share.


Posted by c_j_ over 9 years ago
The FibreCity website has a "diagram" of how this works; it's Flash, and seemingly *requires* 1280x1024 or better to see all the picture.

When you can see all the picture you can see that the last few yards, between sewer and home, apparently requires DIGGING A HOLE to put a connection box on the sewer and then dig again (or maybe go trenchless) to get a cable from sewer box to house.

Anyone see any snags with that, or know how they're *really* doing it if the picture is wrong?
Posted by TheBaron over 9 years ago
No, the picture is correct, you have to get from the sewer in the road to the house ie run a 'service' as we'd say in the Gas Industry, this would be trenched or moled, this would require digging down on the sewer in the road, breaking through connecting a spur to the fibre in the sewer, I don't know how the connector would work but your looking at 1/2 to 1 days work, mix of unskilled labour for the digging and reinstatement and skilled for the fibre connection and test.. not cheap.. £500+ ?
Posted by c_j_ over 9 years ago
Thanks for the confirmation.

I wonder if the citizens of Bournemouth, and their councillors, realise what's involved?

I wonder if the venture capitalists (?) backing this lot realise what's involved?

At say £500 per connection, someone somewhere will have rather a lot of installation costs to recover from subscription charges or a huge connection fee; how on earth does that work?
Posted by kev445 over 9 years ago
To be honest without knowing exactly what they have to do, it is really silly guessing how much it is going to cost them to carry out the work.
Posted by c_j_ over 9 years ago
It would be in H2O Networks and FibreCity's best interests to make clear how they intend to cover the "last 20metres" connection problem, and how the economics work.

Anything that involves digging to connect in an unplanned way to existing infrastructure *is* going to cost hundreds of pounds per customer, as TheBaron confirms, regardless of the details.

Afaict anything in this picture that doesn't involve hugely expensive digging for the last few metres requires a miracle instead, and personally I don't see that happening, but maybe H2O/FibreCity do, in which case, details most welcome.
Posted by lloydio over 9 years ago
£300 would be a walk in the park for installation fee. what people are bereaved about is the service there promised and dont get with BT, Virgin and other LLU services.The day i get a 10mbs service up and down for a reasonable fee is what im waiting for. in slovenia for 30€ you can get 10mbs up and down. its about time people in the uk opened there eyes and realised how much there getting ripped off.
Posted by muymalestado over 9 years ago
The trench/mole described can be compared with the complete mess created at each house during the North Sea Gas conversion. We got through that all right; this will be a 'walk in the park'.
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
"in slovenia for 30€ you can get 10mbs up and down." trouble is, in slovenia they are a much more 'decent' people... even france has similar...

The people in UK are the greediest, most spoilt, 'want something for nothing' people about... If you were an ISP, would you risk your large expenses, for a customer base that does not want to pay serious prices???
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
The only way any company can survive, is if the buying public will give it high support ... The 'Quality HIFI' industry is one - people are not afraid to spend £1000's to get a good system, so it thrives...
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
Just got my new copy of PCPRO (July 2008 - 'date fixed' so it stays on the shelf at the shop for longer...)

- reason for mention, Jon Honeyball(last page comment) talks TRUTH about ISPs, and why they are ALL doing it, from the start.... a GOOD read...
Posted by nmg196 over 9 years ago
Why can't they they just run it all the way into the house through the sewer, so we just have a little box that attaches to the cystern in our downstairs loo, then just flush a bit of fibre down and connect it up :) It would save HOURS of time!
Posted by michaels_perry over 9 years ago
All very well for town and city dwellers who have a sewer system in the road in front of the house. Rural dwellers do not have a sewer system in the road (we have either septic tanks or cess pits!) so we rural people will not be benefitted by this roll out. But it is those living farther away from the exchanges who are most dire need to a reasonable broadband speed, and many urban dwellings are within reasonable distance of their exchanges.
We really need FTTH, or at least FTTC, in rural areas NOW.
Posted by ajays over 9 years ago

H2O Networks plans to act only as the network owner. It'll lease access to broadband and IPTV providers over the top, and let them do the billing and customer service donkey work, including taking the fibre from the street access point into the home. The price consumers end up paying will be dependent on the terms of these deals, says H2O Networks.
Posted by Kaufhof over 9 years ago
Although not one of the big cities, Bournemouth is in the South. However, it will probably need to be to attract any great public interest. I used to work in the Gas Industry and I'd cost the work described by The Baron at quite a bit over £500.
Posted by carolinenational over 9 years ago
Does anyone know how I can tell if my slow broadband connection is down to my pc or my broadband provider (Tiscali)? I ran a speed test here and it tells me I have a download speed of 2.06Mbs and an upload speed of 243 Kbps. My laptop a dell Inspiron 8600, is about 3-4 years old some and I have Windows and is running Windows 2000.

Any or advice help would be greatly appreciated!
Posted by sunindra over 9 years ago
Slow Broadband, This can be down to many aspects including what time of the day the test is done. I would first suggest you try doing a test between 18:00 and 21:00 and then another test between 14:00 and 15:00 and see the difference in speed.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 9 years ago
Hi carolinenational memory and hard drive space are the main reasons that slow the internet down laptops also speed up when the mains is used ..most win2000 machines where fitted with 256mb of ram ..i'd recommend 512mb and make sure you have at least 3gig is spare on your hard disc
Posted by 2doorsbob over 9 years ago
testing at different times is a good idea and also move your modem if you connect wirelessly and connect to the master socket with a bt nte2000 faceplate filter this filters all other telco wiring you may have and ensures you get 100% of what comes in ...hope this helps
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Good to see this is going ahead well done to H2O networks, may be the first small step to this country getting real modern broadband... Oh and gotta love all the comments still from the doubters... Maybe they are just jealous?
Posted by mushroommark over 9 years ago
In addition to this, will be running 100 Gbps of connectivity into Bournemouth prior to this service going live. We have plans to increase this to 800 Gbps when required (enough to run 400,000 homes on 100Mbps 50:1 ratio) which will significantly increase connectivity in Bournemouth and the local area. The core of this service will be at our Bournemouth data centre which will be launched later in the year. Circuits will be available back to London for any ISP’s wishing to use their own bandwidth/networks. More details will be provided soon.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 9 years ago
i really cant see why bournemouth is the city they should be investing in ..maybe its cheaper to lay the fibre coz it's flat lol ..and who is exactly going to be taking the service, bournemouth is renowned for its more mature population ..but in all seriousness the real reason is the council has already invested in a huge part of the backbone network already its a pity other councils can't take note.
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
you seem to be forgetting 'silver surfers' !! :D -Just 'cos they are pensioners, does not mean they have no brain!!! - most would give the average teen a good 'beating' - they 'made' t world today, kids!!! :D
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Not entirely sure but i think they also have some datacentre or premises of some type there also
Posted by lloydio over 9 years ago
Makes me laugh peoples opinion on Bournemouth. I think people forget that their history teachers told them that retired people started going to Bournemouth in the 1890s! were now in 2008 and now is a University/College town, and also is jam packed with foriegn students.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
They are out of touch lloydio, which is also why they still doubt the technology that was tested for over a year before the even decided on installing it in bournemouth, some on this site just like to shun development, dunno why but they do, if we had their way we would all still be paying BT per minute for dial up.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.