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The costs of providing broadband access by extending existing cabling is costing £4.5 billion in the disruption to traffic services alone, it has been claimed.

Elfed Thomas of Wales-based broadband supplier H2O has told the Independent that providing high-speed broadband services via existing sewer networks could be a much cheaper option.

UK residents can also be connected to high-speed fibre-optic services much more quickly, with the company capable of laying 2 km of cable in just four hours. It can take up to 12 months to cover the same distance when cables are laid under roads.

The sewers also offer a greater degree of reliability as the cables are less likely to be severed by engineering works or other threats, the Independent claims.

Problems with the reliability of overground cabling have been highlighted recently when a number of customers using BT's broadband service were left without access after telegraph lines were sabotaged.

The Wirral Globe reports that around 400 customers were affected by the outage.

Mr Thomas predicts that if the sewer-based cabling scheme is successful, consumers all over the country could also benefit from greatly improved access speeds at no extra cost.

Use our broadband speed test to find out the speed of your connection and compare potentially faster packages.

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