"Amsterdam not only has one of the busiest global Internet exchanges, but consumers also see some fantastic speeds in a city that increasingly treats broadband like a utility. Cable operators have been testing 120Mbps pre-certification DOCSIS 3.0 speeds, the city was the first in Europe to see Wireless WiMax, and they're also deploying municipal fiber thanks to private investment funds and an organization named CityNet. Cooperatively with Netherlands carriers GNA, BBned, and InterNLnet, the outfit has just concluded a 3-day test of 1Gbps connectivity for residential consumers over their network."
"The technical results are quite satisfying," says CityNet's Managing Director Herman Wagter (this older interview is a must read). "The upgrade to 1 Gbps was easy," Wagter says in an e-mail announcing the project. "The STB's are not yet stable but do perform well enough. The transfer speeds to disk of a normal laptop is too slow, a desktop PC will give you 500 Mbps, an optimized PC reached 990 Mbps symmetrical transfer." Not only is CityNet running fiber to the home, they're running fiber to the houseboat (which, if you've visited, are almost as common as bicycles):
It seems the company has developed a new type of optical connector that allows houseboat owners to physically connect to Amsterdam's CityNet fiber-optic network upon mooring and disconnect whenever a trip is necessary. "Trials proved that with minor modifications, a very robust beam connector originally developed for military applications is ideally suited for houseboat applications. It can be cleaned easily and has good transmission characteristics." As for bumping speeds to 1Gbps, Wagter says that the price levels of equipment are dropping to a level where "1 Gbps seems to become commercially viable", and the consumer equipment for fast and practical home networks (including settopboxes for full HD) is appearing on the market. "So it seemed a good idea to do some testing to prepare ourselves," he says.
Roughly about 40,000 homes (and houseboats) are currently connected to the CityNet network, with the plan being to bring connectivity to half a million. For those interested, CityNet has posted a YouTube video of the 1Gbps connectivity test. The 120 meter patch-cord shown in the video is new bendable fiber, a variant of which, made by Corning (see source link) is now being used for FiOS installs in NYC.