Thanks to Bernadine Joselyn for giving me a heads up on a recent article (CityNet Rollout on Track) on Amsterdam’s FTTH project.
Amsterdam is working on the largest FTTH project in Europe. The first phase is expected to be completed next year (2008).
The first phase is managed through GNA (Fiber Network Amsterdam). The expected cost is € 30 million. (My in-head guestimate exchange is $50 million.) GNA is a joint project of the Municipality of Amsterdam (one third), a consortium of 5 housing societies (one third), ING Real Estate + Reggefiber BV (one third).
What is neat from our perspective is that this going to be an open access network, which means GNA is laying down the fiber but they will open the door to allowing other providers to serve customers through the network.
The following paragraph that caught my eye (as a US citizen):
Amsterdam CityNet has the blessing of the European Commission, anxious to give Europe a competitive position over the Far East and USA. At present, local governments in 32 European countries are considering widespread deployment of independent fibre optic networks, especially as they promise to boost local economic development and promote social inclusion.
Hmm. I love to see people getting access to the tools they need – and in my 10 days in Ireland I have become even more acutely aware of how important good access is. I hope that more folks in the US will see this and realize that we need to jump start some efforts too – if we don’t want to be eating the virtual dust of others as they pass us by.