back to article Brisbane's sewer fibre plan goes down the pan

A broadband-via-sewer rollout in Australia's third biggest city has ended almost as soon as it began, with Brisbane Council announcing the network will not continue. In October last year, the British company i3 Group proclaimed its deal with Brisbane Council would cover 500,000 households at just A$600 per connection – much …

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Sorry no joke...

Did these fail because of any interesting technical issue or just a business failure sort of thing?

Sorry I can't think of anything particularly clever to say about sewers and t'internet

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The truth?

"Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said the network would not proceed because the council was “unhappy with the progress of the deal""

So the $35m (est) damage to the sewers from the recent storms and flooding had nothing to do with it's viability?

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Well...

... it always was a crap idea.

(Oh come on, *someone* had to say it!)

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and Jacqui Smith wanted it stopped

... because of the filth.

(*someone* had to say that, too!)

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Anonymous Coward

We are holding our own.

Cue predictable comments:

Trouble 'down under'.

I'll get my coat. Well as it's Brisbane then wellies too.

:)

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Go

TiSP

Google did it first.

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Delivering a sh*te service...

...whilst taking the p*ss.

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In Australia, the internet isn't even a number-two priority.

Ba da dum!

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Anonymous Coward

NBN the answer

Don't worry - the NBN will be flushed with success...

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Anonymous Coward

"Just a business failure sort of thing"

Just a business failure sort of thing.

H2O/i3 had an interesting idea for point to point networks without the usual costs and hassle of trenching. They also seemed to be masters of PR whilst failing to deliver on their promises.

When you look at the economics of their approach it becomes clear that any mass market rollout was doomed to failure from day 1. The cost per connect with fibre in the sewers was still hundreds of pounds (maybe two, maybe five, who cares). Whilst this kind of cost might be acceptable on a business park or wherever they'd been before, it makes no economic sense in a volume rollout in the consumer market when the rest of the market is in a race to the bottom with "zero cost" bundled broadband (or even BT Sheffield's £6/month standalone broadband).

To make some kind of economic sense they had to revert to low cost microtrenching. But that only works if no one has microtrenched in the street before you, and fibre is only of interest if no one is already offering high speed cable. In most areas where people might be interested in this kind of thing, cable is already there, often in microtrenches, destroying the H2O opportunity two ways.

Elfed Thomas, top man at i3, was a regional finalist in Ernst and Young's Young Entrepreneur of the Year award last year [1]. Well done E+Y, you must have been among the only people who didn't see the train crash coming. At least the right man won - Richard Tang of Rochdale's Zen Internet - a proper ISP even if they do mostly rely on BTwoolsale for connectivity [2].

H2O/i3 were also allegedly running an alleged WiMax trial on Anglesey which also was largely invisible; reports welcome [3].

You can read a fair bit more about them in the news and forums at www.thinkbroadband.com and elsewhere.

These i3 folks give cowboys a bad name; there are small ISPs delivering localised high speed broadband independently of BT, but this lot were never going anywhere.

It's a shame for their prospective customers, and their and their suppliers' staff.

[1] http://www.i3-group.co.uk/news--media/news/ernst--young-business-award.aspx

[2] http://www.zen.co.uk/latest-news/richard-tang-is-regional-winner-of-ernst-and-young-customer-service-entrepreneur-of-the-year.aspx

[3] http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/4412-anglesey-set-for-wimax-4g-trial.html

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plus

dont forget "smallworld cable" they provide 50mb and 100mb cable for south scotland, carlisle, morcambe area. A much better offering than virgin.

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Sewers?

Well obviously they weren't getting enough fibre or they'd have been laying cable more quickly........

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