University taps sewers for web access

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University taps sewers for web access

A web connection via the toilet bowl may sound like Google's most recent April Fool, but the University of Aberdeen plans to welcome students back with a high bandwidth internet network connected via the sewers.

The university tapped H2O Networks to provide a high capacity link for the next 10 years, enabling students to access the internet from their halls of residence.

H2O Networks is a deploying dark fibre in the UK's waste water network to enable connectivity to those who have limited access. The network is known as 'fibre via the sewer'.

Garry Wardrope, network services manager at the University of Aberdeen, said: "Making university life as rich as possible for our students is the main aim of everything we do.

"When embarking on our 'internet to 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."

As existing networks become increasingly congested with more cable types, it has become difficult for network companies to find new pathways.

The H2O Networks development allows universities to use the sewers to set up their own secure IT and telecoms network, rather than the traditional disruptive method of digging up roads.

The deployment process is a least 80 percent faster than traditional methods, resulting in operational networks within weeks rather than months.

Every city and town has ready-made ducts that can be used without causing disruption, the company said.
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