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Bournemouth is set to become the first UK town to receive ultra-fast fibre broadband via sewer networks.

The seaside resort beat bids by Northampton and Dundee to win the services, which will be provided by Wales-based provider H2O.

Estimated to cost around £30 million, the test project will see residents able to access broadband capable of delivering speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

The scheme has attracted a lot of media attention in recent months for its innovative deployment of fibre-based broadband. By using sewer networks, it is thought that high-speed services could be delivered more quickly and cheaply than via conventional ground-based networks.

Elfed Thomas, chief executive officer of H2O, said: "This is just the start of bringing next-generation connectivity to the UK. We will be announcing more towns and cities that will benefit from Fibrecity over the coming months."

BT has also recently announced the first stage of its ultra-fast 21st Century Network, which it hopes will be available to ten million residential and commercial broadband customers by spring 2009.

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