August 16, 2010
Canadians are among the world’s leaders in the use of broadband internet.
But as we enter the third decade of the internet age with more people demanding faster speeds and better access, the quality of internet access may become an increasingly important factor in determining where people buy their homes and operate their businesses.
It’s not surprising that in light of this surging demand, service providers are looking for new ways of delivering fast and reliable service to every home and business, no matter where it’s located.
However, it may surprise you that in the future, high speed internet won’t to be beamed in from a satellite but will likely travel through sewer pipes and into your home.
According to Computer World, the government of New Zealand is currently in the market for a firm to deploy ultra-fast broadband fibre optic cable and the Australian firm, I3 APAC, who hopes to utilize New Zealand’s sewer systems to deploy the cable, is in the running.
I3 APAC also hope to have about 1 million homes in Britain “fibred up” by 2012.
Sewer deployments have previously been attempted in New York, London and Paris but the projects have failed because the cables were unable to handle the toxic environment.
Despite these setbacks, in-sewer fibre optic placement has become the method of choice in delivering internet access because of its minimal invasiveness, cost efficiency, and speed.
Download speeds using the ultra-fast broadband connections can vary between 60mb/s and 500 mb/s. To give you an idea of just how fast this is, currently Rogers’ fastest and most expensive internet package offers download speeds of 50 mb/s.
You could be (legally) downloading HD movies almost instantaneously.
I3 APAC uses fortified cable to ensure that the toxic sewer environment doesn’t result ruin the meticulously placed fibre optics.
Sewer blockages are a risk as New Zealand’s sewer pipes are relatively small in diameter and problems may be encountered if fibre optic cable is fed through them.
This all sounds very promising, but let’s just hope that in our quest for better, more universal internet access we don’t encounter any nasty sewage block-ups.