A British borough council is using underground sewage pipes to lay new broadband cabling.

The seaside town of Bournemouth opted for the novel solution in an effort to save money and reduce disruption to the town.

The council has used almost 1,500m of H2Os 18mm fibre optic cable which has been put down through Bournemouth’s sewer system, owned by Wessex Water. The existing underground architecture allowed engineers to pass cable through ducts and tunnels thus saving on the cost of digging. Bournemouth Council says the work is progressing 80 per cent faster than traditional means.

The system, dubbed ‘Focus’ is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.”In partnership with H2O Networks we are making a tremendous cost saving, meaning that we can put Council Tax payers’ money to better use,” said Bob Rhodes, Bournemouth Council’s IT manager.

The cabling is encased in armour to prevent rats biting through it.

Welsh company H20 says Focus “is a fast and cost-effective way to lay cable and link up any location without the high costs and disruption caused by traditional cabling methods”.