Google last week announced Google Fiber, an experimental fiber-to-the-home network it plans to use to connect between 20,000 and 200,000 homes. And while we wait for that network to take shape, Reggefiber of the Netherlands is moving ahead and upgrading its network to 1 Gbps.

Google last week announced Google Fiber, an experimental fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network that the company plans to build and use to connect between 20,000 and 200,000 homes. And while we wait for that network to take shape, Reggefiber of the Netherlands is moving ahead and is upgrading its network to 1 Gbps. (Related post: So Where Else in the World Can You Get 1 Gbps to the Home?)

My friend David Isenberg, who organizes the wonderful Freedom 2 Connect (F2C) conference, sent me a link to a story this morning. The gist of the news is that ReggeFiber, in partnership with Dutch incumbent KPN, will make 1 Gbps the standard connection speed for all FTTH customers. The company currently has more than 300,000 customers and is on target to grow to a million subscribers. Zeewolde is the first city that will get the service.

How can Reggefiber do this? The company has seen steep declines in the price of equipment — from modems to central office stuff — which has allowed it to offer this service. Reggefiber uses networking equipment from Cisco Systems, Swedish gear maker Packet Front and modems made by a local company called Genexis.

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By Om Malik

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  1. Hash, Hookers, and now High Speed Fiberized Internet?!!??!?! Dude, I’m soooo leaving this oppressive dialup hell,..

    1. I am following you :-)

      1. I am already there but the hookers keep stealing my hash while I’m distracted by the Internet.

  2. Can you give us the URL Isen sent you?

  3. Genexis is also partnering with Case Western University in Cleveland in their 1 Gbps trial.

    See more on http://www.genexis.nl/news.php?id=press&art=24

    The global trend is up anyway, see http://www.dadamotive.com/2010/02/crossing-the-barrier.html on Lyse’s 400/400 Mbps offer.

    1. Thanks Herman for the plug – not clear how many people know what we’re doing right HERE in the U – S of A.

      Creating jobs is what its all about – and those jobs will require tech skills. And connectivity.

      1. hey marc

        Good to hear from you buddy. and i am quite familiar with what you guys are doing. just waiting for some news from you folks.

    2. Herman

      Thanks for the update. I will follow up with you via email as well.

  4. A link to the press release on the 1 GBps is here


  5. So whats an easy way to understand 1Gbps – like, download a HD movie in under a second or something like that?

  6. As of now, the fastest available subscription will be ‘only’ 200/200 mbit, but it’s correct that the CPE can handle a gigabit symmetrical.

  7. In most netbooks/laptops the transferspeed to your hard drive inside your laptop is on average below 1 GBps….Cloud computing will become a different experience.

  8. Om – Has Stacy (Swiss Mrs) H. put in for a transfer yet?

    1. She isn’t leaving Austin anytime soon.

  9. Hey Om!

    Not sure if you know this – but here in Cleveland we’re installing 1G connectivity into homes and apartments – just like Google wants us to.

    The effort is being led by Lev Gonick – who writes about it eloquently here: http://blog.case.edu/lev.gonick/2010/02/14/googles_1b_gigabit_fiber_to_the_home_moon_shot

    I then wrote up accolades to Lev – which is one of the main reasons why I moved here: http://blog.broadbandmechanics.com/2010/02/17/shooting-for-the-moon/

    Turns out the gigabit set top box we’re using is from Amsterdam – so I guess I’ll HAVE to go and meet them!

    Anyway – we’re working to build our future and create jobs here in North Eastern Ohio (NEO.)

    • marc
  10. I continue to be amazed by the discussion surrounding broadband “speeds.” We’re talking about networks measured in terms of capacity, not objects measured in terms of speed. This is important because we intuitively understand that “one billion bits per second” (a capacity measure) represents a maximum, not a fixed rate, whereas “55 miles per hour” (a speed measure) is a fixed rate.

    Further, 1Gbps represents the capacity of the last-mile connection only. All other aspects of the large and complex network infrastructure in between source and destination are oversubscribed and have, on a per-subscriber basis, much less bandwidth than is available in the last mile connection. That is why, according to Akamai’s The State of The Internet (Q3/2009), a country like Japan, with almost ubiquitous 100Mbps fiber connectivity, enjoys an average downstream bit rate of only 7.92Mbps.

    One gigabit fiber connections are all well and good but by themselves are roughly analogous to 15-lane freeway on-ramps. Unless the capacity of the freeway is substantially augmented I won’t get to work any faster.

    1. Spot on. Great Post!

      Access does not equal throughput

      I assume this will soon become a lesson to Google – and their foray as a dilletante network services provider.

      More hilarious are Geek Squad & Starbucks barristas on this board who speak of using Wi-Max and other wireless offerings to overcome that troublesome “last mile”.

      1GB access to the Internet??? Swell. Until you come home in the late afternoon, and find out that turning on a continual 1GB feed is a masturbatory dream shared by you and 3 million other broadband wannabees – who, more often than not, are trying to suck this through the same cable TV infrastructure that has been milking it’s cash-cow monopoly franchise for 60 years. .

      It takes dedicated optical fiber, and a dedicated channel from your home to the fiber POP – to the fiber mux – . . . . without co-mingling of other subscriber services.

      Verizon has been providing this via FIOS . After waiting for nearly 4 years, we finally got FIOS installed to our street last month . . . and I can honestly say, we’re getting a continous 40 MBPS+ up/down feed. I understand we can get faster FIOS speeds with a nominal $5 – $10 per month upcharge.

      1. The Senator, Kevin et. al

        From what I gather, Google is going to build an infrastructure that actually is going to be able to offer a full 1Gbps throughput as it would also hook up to a special backhaul network and would also serve stuff off highly optimized servers. They will be looking at learning from the 1 Gbps experience. Internally this is being viewed as a test bed network.

        Thought I would add that.

    2. Kevin/The Senator, as an addition to my previous response, I don’t necessarily disagree with you.

      On the Akamai’s report and the Japan’s average downstream numbers — I suspect those are lower because it includes people using DSL. Availability of Fiber connections is one thing. Getting people to buy them is a whole different story. :-)

      1. Om, I will watch Google with great interest. Virtually every network is built in such a way that core resources are oversubscribed. Given statistical usage patterns, this is an economically sound thing to do. Even if Google refrains from oversubscribing their own assets, the Internet itself is hugely oversubscribed (which, again, it should be). Unless they plan on parking a yottabit switch in, say, Kansas, this will always be a defining characteristic of data networks.


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