Monday, January 21, 2008

Dutch glass fibre networks

It has taken a while, but now glass fibre is breaking through in the Netherlands. Some five years ago the general opinion was that glass fibre was too expensive and that we would need grants and subsidies. Now glass fibre projects pop up like mushrooms. Glass fibre networks are now available for consumers, munipalities and business.

For consumers there are many projects. After the first private glass fibre project in Nuenen near Eindhoven, a march of projects developed. Around Nuenen various towns are now deciding to get glass fibre. Amsterdam has started its project of 400.000 households to be provided with glass fibre. My hometown Almere has started a glass fibre project for 70.000 houses. But also Enschede and Deventer have set up projects. And the projects are no longer restricted to urban areas, but also start in rural areas like the region between Haarlem and Lisse. And in the east of The Netherlands the FttF project ( Fibre to the Farm) is being organised; ducts for fibre will be dug by the farmers themselves.

But glass fibre is already in use in the institutional world. Especially municipalities are heavily involved as they see opportunities to get a better infrastructure between municipal departments, schools and hospitals. In my home town Almere there is a fibre network between the school, not just for transport, but also for central control. The fibre network can be paid as it saves already 5 million euro for system maintenance which was done in every school. Now also Amsterdam starts a super fast network for 245 schools. The municipality has devoted 900.000 euro to the project. The advantages are numerous. The link to Knowledgenet, the school network in the Netherlands, is faster now. Material for the lessons can be shared. There can be videoconferencing now. Besides the schools 26 cultural institutions and public libraries will be linked to the network. Amsterdam has already a Cityring, which is used by institutes for performing arts and cultural sites like Fabchannel. Also in Den Bosch a schoolnet will be started up. For the start some 30 schools will linked to Boschnet, a municipal network which had already 140 connections..

Besides consumer and municipal projects, also business projects start to take off. In Eindhoven six industrial areas, comprising some 100 businesses, have started an open glass fibre project. The network is organised by BBned, a Telecom Italia subsidiary. It is the first private business network. In cities like The Hague, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, glass fibre networks for industrial areas have been organised, but not as private business networks. The network in Eindhoven will be linked to Brabantnet which connects with businesses in Den Bosch, Vught, Heusden and Boxtel. To the North Brabantnet is linked with the glass fibre net of Nijmegen.

Blog Posting Number: 984


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