DCMS launches Fibre in Water open competitionGulistan Ladha
The government has announced a three-year trial to target hard-to-reach homes using the UK water network. The project will also look to test solutions that reduce the amount of water lost every day due to leaks using the same fibre optic cables (fibre has already been deployed in water pipes in other countries, such as Spain). According to the government, about 20% of the total water put into the public supply is lost every day due to leaks and the water companies have committed to delivering a 50% reduction in leakage with the help of this project.
Fibre in Water (FiW) is an open competition, run by DCMS from HM Treasury’s Shared Outcomes Fund and supported by DEFRA, BEIS and Cabinet Office. It will allocate up to £4 million of research and development funding to projects that develop and build a pilot to facilitate delivery of advanced broadband and mobile services via drinking water mains. The application window is open for 8 weeks until 04 October. Shortlisted applicants will be notified in mid October and successful applicants will be notified in November. The grant claim period is January 2022 – 31 March 2024.
This follows on from government’s call for evidence on reviewing the access to infrastructure (ATI) regulations which enables the right to access to infrastructure on fair and reasonable commercial terms.