Crap London broadband gets the sewer treatment

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Oh rats! SSE inks deal to run fibre through Thames Water’s subterranean empire

The Wick Lane penstock gates controls the sewage flow through the pipes

London’s Victorian sewer network is to be made accessible to fibre cables under a deal between SSE Enterprise Telecoms and Thames Water.

The agreement means SSE has managed to circumnavigate any reliance on BT’s Openreach network, having said it has been frustrated by the slow progress made on opening up the former state monopoly’s “dark fibre” network.

Earlier this month the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) ruled that Ofcom had to redraft its entire approach to its proposals to force Openreach to open its unlit fibre network to ISPs. That followed a ruling by the CAT in July that Ofcom had made a series of errors when it drew up the rules.

SSE claimed that utilising Thames Water’s existing waste water system will reduce network deployment costs by 60 per cent and deploy connectivity services up to 10 times faster.

Mike Magee, SSE director, said the company has identified a way to solve the increasing demand on its network “by leveraging the waste water network”.

Richard Hill, head of property at Thames Water, said: “Our Victorian sewers are already home to a number of pipes and cables belonging to other utility companies and we’re glad to also now be supporting SSE Enterprise Telecoms.”

SSE operates a 13,700km private telecoms network and an estate of 15 data centres across the UK. ®

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