Fibre through your taps

March 28th, 2011 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Now this is cifty thinking. Claire Rogers reports:

Homes and businesses could have ultrafast broadband on tap if trials by British firm i3 Group to deploy cable through water pipes are successful.

The company said it was talking to all the bidders for the Government’s $1.5 billion ultrafast broadband scheme as well as Crown Fibre Holdings and expected to begin trials of its Atlantis fibre cabling system soon.

Chief technology officer Alasdair Rettie said it was working with those bidders to identify locations for the trials but some would probably take place in Auckland.

The Atlantis system deploys fibre encased in a tube through cold water pipes and is designed to be used in the final stage of a fibre rollout, connecting premises to fibre in the street.

The biggest cost of fibre is digging up the ground to lay it. If it can be pushed through existing pipes, without degrading the quality of longevity, then tha could be a real cost saver.

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16 Responses to “Fibre through your taps”

  1. david (2,554 comments) says:

    A bit tough on the broadband connection if you close the valve to change a tap washer.

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  2. infused (648 comments) says:

    Stuff 1/4/2023

    Stuff has learn’t that the “Fiber through water pipe scheme” aka aquanet has been shown to increase cancer by %30…

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  3. Viking2 (11,283 comments) says:

    They have been pushing to suupply thru the sewer system in Brisbane But I think too many problems from what I recall.

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  4. Tom B (55 comments) says:

    Sounds interesting – I remember seeing something a few years back that would have seen broadband delivered through the power network as well.

    Worth a look, but shoud also been view along side events like ChCh – their water network seems to be a bit buggered, not sure how an additional fibre network would either survive in this situation or complicate the recovery of the water pipes.

    I like it though. I remember being told at work recently that Ministers wanted to hear ideas that scared them – ie they didn’t want only safe proposals.

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  5. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    Would it reduce my water pressure? Worse than low flow shower heads…..

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  6. gander (90 comments) says:

    PaulL (3,913) Says:
    March 28th, 2011 at 12:25 pm
    Would it reduce my water pressure? Worse than low flow shower heads…..

    Bust your monthly data cap, your water pressure gets throttled back to dial-up?

    [DPF: Labour will like this - a stealth way to implement their water pressure policy]

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  7. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    Why not the Southern Cross cable is essentially exactly that except not so much a tap as an ocean.

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  8. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    Given the current accelerating rate of new infotech development, it’s a pity the councils can’t decide on some sort of standardised 200mm (say?) buried PVC services duct, that would run from a little junction box on your front boundary through to a wall socket inside, and would contain all of your power & phone lines, cable tv, etc.

    It could also contain a couple of spare draw wires, so that in ten years time when someone invents the next big thing that needs its own cable from the street, you just buy however many metres of that cable you need, and pull it through into the house. Then any new network only has to dig its trench in the street, and get from that to each boundary junction box, and it becomes almost a DIY exercise to draw their cable through the conduit into each house.

    This would also render any future replacement of telecom connections a trivially easy exercise…

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  9. jims_whare (399 comments) says:

    WOuldnt it just be simpler to have a wireless network like cell phone towers – saves a hang of a lot of infrastructure

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  10. Ross Nixon (612 comments) says:

    Reminds me of a scheme I read in a book that I have from the 1800s.
    The suggestion was that the new-fangled electricity network be routed through customers existing gas supply pipes. I wonder what not so ‘bright spark’ thought that one up? LOL!

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  11. Dave Mann (1,190 comments) says:

    Thats just bloody stupid. How can anybody push a cable through a water pipe into a house FFS? A competent plumber can experience difficulties getting flippin WATER into a house working from the OUTSIDE, so how can you expect to get a cable up the pipe with all the elbows and bends etc?

    This post is four days early mate. Its not April 1st yet….

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  12. V (694 comments) says:

    I believe they were doing a similar thing in Brisbane but putting it through the sewer pipe which is generally larger.

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  13. Seamonkey Madness (328 comments) says:

    Fibre to the home through water pipes is BS. It would interfere too much with the water and vice versa. Fibre through sewage is a more viable delivery system, especially as 90% or so of sewer pipes aren’t pressurised so you won’t have problems at exit/entry points.

    It will either be sewer pipes, strung alongside existing telephone cables (where they exist), or more commonly I would think would be by micro-trenching.

    To recap, they should tell i3 Group and their technology to GTFO.

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  14. Steve (4,524 comments) says:

    I thought Country Calendar did a special program at the end of the year.
    Bit early?

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  15. Caleb (478 comments) says:

    id pay to get the fibre from the road to my door.

    is there enough bandwidth for all of the sat tv channels?

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  16. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Can I just point out, that having a fiber network in NZ is all fine and dandy and this will improve speeds inside the country, but as long as we only have 2 cables from the country to the world, international traffic, i.e. all the traffic that counts will still be expensive and slow. So in terms of getting NZ connected globally it will do little to improve things. Or am I wrong?

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