The UK government has reportedly announced a £4 million funding to support projects that will test the use of fibre optic internet cables passing via water pipes to connect hard-to-reach houses without the need to dig up roads. The funds will also be used to test pipe-mounted monitors that will aid water companies in identifying and repairing leaks more rapidly.
As per reports, every day, around a fifth of the water delivered into the public supply is lost due to leaks, and it is believed that sensors would assist water providers in meeting their goal of halving water loss.
The fund was provided after the UK government issued a request for assistance in June regarding how more than a million kilometers of underground utility pipes may be used to speed up the deployment of next-generation internet.
According to the government, infrastructure costs, such as installing new poles and pipes, can account for up to four-fifths of the costs to the industry for developing new gigabit-capable broadband networks.
The project is part of a larger strategy to decrease this cost and increase internet and mobile signals in rural areas. It will be implemented by a group including telecoms companies, utility providers, and engineering firms. The deadline for applications is October 4th, and they will be subject to the approval of the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).
According to Matt Warman, the digital infrastructure minister: “The cost of digging up roads and property is the major obstacle faced by telecom companies while integrating hard-to-reach places to offer improved broadband, yet beneath their feet is a large network of pipes that connects practically every building in the country”.
“As a result, they are appealing leading firms in Britain to assist them in utilizing this infrastructure to not only provide fresh and clean water but also offer lightning-fast internet access”.