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Amsterdam builds its own FTTP Network

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The city of Amsterdam in Netherlands is building its own fiber to the premise infrastructure, and will connect 40,000 homes (10% of the city) with fiber, the Deputy-Mayor Mark van der Horst announced today. BBned, a division of Telecom Italia will act as a wholesale operator of the network which is open to all service providers who can purchase capacity and offer services on these fat pipes. The interesting thing to note in this model is that the city is not subsidizing the construction, but is merely acting as an investor. Something to consider stateside? (Press release here!)

James Enck adds: Not to put words in anyone’s mouth, but I think the message is something like — It may be “your network” and “your investment” you are trying to defend, but your customers are our taxpayers, our society, and we have a duty to look beyond the next quarter and where our share options are at present. Access to information is an essential building block of social development, like access to water and electricity. Highly-contended DSL products with bandwidth caps ain’t gonna cut it.

Hey maybe someone at FCC should be thinking about this. I know its hard with the incumbent lobbyists buzzing all the time, but still, give it some thought. Come on…

9 Responses to “Amsterdam builds its own FTTP Network”

  1. Jesse Kopelman

    John, you seem to be fixated on the idea that not everyone will use/get use from the internet. Even if you do not use it for TV or phone, it will drive down the price of the service you do use. Thus, it has value to everyone. There is just no argument to be made that some people will pay for this and get nothing from it. Is this fair to the incumbant comapnies? I’d say about as fair as taxing them a portion of their profits as the federal and many state governments already do.

  2. Information is really valuable these days, the one who has it, is the one that has the real power.

    With IT you managed the cultural industries nowadays, and with the cultural indutries you can penetrate in any country you want.

    So, except for those countries that have some oil or water, etc (like Irak, or LatinAmerica), the penetration starts with culture, and the cultural industries are the new (not new indeed) way to managed the whole world.

  3. John Thacker

    John, do your grandparents use the telephone? Do they have cable or satelite TV?

    Yes they do, but their cities didn’t pay for building either of those networks, and they pay for their own telephone and cable service. (Their telephone is from North State Communications, a local non-Bell company that’s been around for 108 years serving their city.) The Internet is indeed more like the telephone and cable than access to water or electricity. I’m still not convinced why so many people are fixated on “free” Internet access plans that really mean that everyone pays, not just the people who use it.

  4. Jesse Kopelman

    How does internet access help those who don’t want e-mail, IM, or web surfing? Well, since you can deliver telephony and entertainment over the internet, it improves consumer choice and leads to better/lower cost services. John, do your grandparents use the telephone? Do they have cable or satelite TV?

  5. John Thacker

    Access to information is an essential building block of social development, like access to water and electricity.

    I’m sorry, but every time I hear statements like this I think about my grandparents, who neither want nor need Internet access, but who would be forced to pay for it through their taxes. I’ve never heard a particularly convincing exposition of how muni networks would save money, other than by forcing people who don’t use the Internet much to subsidize those who do. It reminds me of so many other government programs (subsidized arts funding, et al.): take something mostly used by the wealthy and subsidize it, in the name of increasing access by the poor. Most of the time the well-off capture most of the benefits.