Page last updated at 08:20 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 09:20 UK

Sheffield in broadband fast lane

Sheffield skyline
Sheffield residents could get super-fast broadband

Homes in Sheffield are set to benefit from super-fast broadband as H2O Networks begins work on a city-wide fibre network.

The network will run via the city's sewers and follows similar schemes in Bournemouth and Dundee.

The network will be laid in a 15km ring around the city and will build on an existing fibre network which serves luxury flats and student accommodation.

It will offer speeds of up to 100Mbps (megabits per second).

H20 Networks is planning to roll out fibre to around a dozen cities across the UK, although in each case it will be only be providing the infrastructure and will rely on service providers to offer the broadband to consumers.

No internet service provider has yet come forward to act as an agent.

The network in Sheffield is due for completion by the end of September.

BT has also announced the start of its £1.5bn fibre plans, which will see speeds of up to 40Mbps available to around 40% of homes by 2012.

It will be rolling out fibre to the cabinet technology (FTTC) - which provides a fibre connection as far as the familiar green boxes on the corner of streets but still relies on copper wiring for the so-called last mile between the cabinet and the home.

Trials of FTTC have begun in north London and Cardiff.

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