SSE Enterprise Telecoms announces innovative ‘fibre in the sewers’ partnership with Thames Water

An innovative partnership between SSE Enterprise Telecoms and Thames Water will see fibre optic cables deployed in London’s waste water system.

In fact the agreement will allow networks to be created up to ten times faster; more directly and securely, in key business areas such as the City of London using the existing waste water system.

SSE Enterprise Telecoms, one of the UK’s leading connectivity suppliers, has signed an ‘operating license to deploy’ agreement with Thames Water, enabling the distribution of its fibre optic cables throughout Thames Water’s waste water network.

“Businesses fundamentally rely on their network to underpin everyday operations,” explains Mike Magee, Director of Service Solutions at SSE Enterprise Telecoms.

“With an ever-increasing demand for connectivity, network infrastructures require higher resiliency and improved diversity. Estimates suggest there are as many as 3,000 enterprises in the finance and insurance sectors in the City of London area alone, each vying for connectivity. This has made the demand for unique, truly diverse network routes hard to achieve. We’ve identified a way to solve this by leveraging the waste water network”.

The deal also allows Thames Water to utilise its existing infrastructure without any disruption to general operations, while meeting EU and UK guidelines and helping to support the UK’s digital strategy.

“Our Victorian sewers are already home to a number of pipes and cables belonging to other utility companies and we’re glad to also now be supporting SSE Enterprise Telecoms,” said Richard Hill, Head of Property, Thames Water.

“Reducing roadworks and traffic congestion is something hugely important to us so it’s great to help a fellow utility company do the same by allowing them to make use of our existing infrastructure.”

The deal comes as SSE Enterprise Telecoms seeks new, innovative routes to expand its footprint. A consequence of the recent Dark Fibre Access (DFA) ruling – that rival providers will not be able to access BT Openreach’s existing fibre optic cables to increase competition and end user services – has meant that SSE Enterprise Telecoms has sought new and creative ways to enable connectivity.

By utilising Thames Water’s already existing waste water system, SSE Enterprise Telecoms will be able to reduce network deployment costs by 60% and deploy connectivity services up to 10 times faster than through traditional digs.