Broadband - Going Underground

By: Nick C

Experts have warned that the speed of Britain's broadband is falling way behind that of our European neighbours.

With high-speed internet access becoming more and more of a necessity, we are running the risk of future internet developments accelerating away from what our aging UK networks can cope with.

Britain's broadband is delivered to the majority of users via twisted-pair telephone lines. This broadband technology depends upon advanced digital signal processing and creative algorithms to compress data. This new technology is relying on the old technology of the UK's aging phone networks to deliver the service and cracks are now beginning to show.

Broadband customers are increasingly becoming dissatisfied with the speeds they are receiving; this has not been helped by ISP's luring customers in with promises of cheap broadband with speeds of "up to" 8Mbps. The reality is that few will be able to achieve even half this speed.

There are too many factors that can affect the quality of broadband speeds via the telephone line to ever make it a reliable service.
These include:

&bullHow close you are to the exchange (the closer you are then the faster your connection)

&bullThe amount of people being served by your local exchange

&bullThe length and gauge of the line from the exchange

&bullElectromagnetic noise from other lines. So basically, this can mean the quality of the wiring within your own house.

&bullThe quality of the modem you use

It's obvious that we need a new way of delivering broadband to the users if we are ever going to keep up with the rest of the world.

Fibre optics is the way forward, but laying fibre cables to every house in the UK is impractical and expensive.

A solution to the problem could lie in using 360,000 miles of pipelines that are already under our feet. The sewage systems!

A company called H20 Networks has already provided super fast broadband to Universities in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Bournemouth via their sewage systems. They are enjoying high-speed fibre connections that provide speeds of up to 20Gbps!

It's a cost effective and quick solution to what would be an expensive and time consuming problem. With Japan and Paris already using sewer-based fibre networks, it looks likely that Britain will be forced to follow suit. For the millions of internet users who are already beginning to get impatient with their service providers false promises, this can't come soon enough.

Computers and The Internet
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Computers and The Internet