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Friday, March 19, 2010

Open-access fiber in Amsterdam

Great article today in Ars Technica on the open-access Fiber project Citynet in Amsterdam. The piece is written by the CEO of Citynet, Herman Wagter.

It's a pretty elaborate (and technical!) article, and certainly stimulating for other municipalities with fiber aspirations. Also note that Citynet offers a blueprint to encourage fiber deployment in Europe, while avoiding State Aid concerns under European Law.

The key to success is an extensive preparation, a detailed design, good organization, and social engineering when dealing with people who live in the MDUs; in fact, this is much more important than trenching and putting in fiber. Only 120,000 meters of trenching was needed for the first 40,000 connections, an average of three meters per connection. Roughly 80 percent of the costs were labor costs, while 10 percent were fiber.

The payoff for the effort is that fiber, once deployed, has proven to be very reliable. So it makes sense not to cut corners and deploy a network that can be used for as many decades as possible.

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