Wednesday, 23 February 2011 11:23

Brisbane sewer fibre plan canned - for now

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The flush of enthusiasm for installing a fibre broadband network in Brisbane's sewers is over after i3's project got bogged down. But the idea of a city-backed network hasn't gone completely down the toilet, with other providers said to be ready to step in.


Last year's successful trial in Brisbane of a system for running fibre optic cables through sewers was followed by confirmation of a rollout by Lord Mayor Campbell Newman.

Work was supposed to begin on the project early this year, but Cr Newman has now said that Brisbane will not be dealing with i3 Asia Pacific due to insufficient progress. No ratepayer money has been spent on the project according to council officials. The idea was to bring high-speed broadband to Brisbane residents more quickly than the NBN would.

Brisbane may still go ahead with its own broadband network. The Courier Mail has quoted Cr Newman as saying "There are other parties who wish to deal with us and large international parties who, for example, have rolled this out in other cities in Asia, well-known cities and they wish to undertake this project with us."

There was no indication of the technologies used by the council's potential new partners.

Last year, a plan to use i3's fibre-in-the-sewer technology in the UK city of Bournemouth was abandoned for technical and business reasons in favour of a conventional underground fibre deployment.

 

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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