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Gigaclear is working with Affinity Water in a pilot that will see fibre optic cables run through disused water mains.

The trials will take place in rural Hertfordshire and will see ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises technology being deployed.

This could potentially pave the way for similar projects that make use of disused facilities in other parts of the country.

Chris Harrison, Head of Design at Gigaclear, commented: "On paper, the concept of using existing infrastructure to deliver the latest technology direct to people’s homes makes perfect sense. 

"This feasibility study will help us understand if we can turn a great idea into reality."

Mr Harrison believes that if the pilot is successful, it will bring "significant benefits" to its customers.

Indeed, he stated that because Gigaclear is building completely new broadband networks, putting its fibre cables through the disused pipes would mean it does not have to dig new trenches.

Mr Harrison said this would reduce the amount of disruption in rural communities while the work is being carried out.

"It would also speed up our build programme, particularly in areas where we would otherwise need to dig in or beside roads, as the permitting and traffic management planning process to enable this can be mean lengthy delays in the implementation of the network," he said.

Mr Harrison went on to state that Gigaclear considers itself an innovative company. As a result, he believes it is "only right that we should consider innovative ways of delivering our technologically advanced product".

"This has the potential to do just that," he added.

The trial comes after Gigaclear confirmed it is looking to increase the number of homes served by its ultrafast network five-fold over the next 18 months.

The provider currently reaches 20,000 homes but wants this figure to hit 100,000 by the end of 2017.

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