His suggestion was to run a 48 strand fibre assembly from the point where we connect into the backbone network back into our own group of houses. He suggested we locate the midpoint in the residence to terminate the fiber connection. From there we could run copper (or fiber) for the last 100 meters to each home and still be capable of gigabit speeds. This would require someone to put the equipment in their basement - or at least at the side of their house.
He also was able to pull together some numbers based on what I said we wanted. Of course we don't know how much it will cost to patch into the backbone network but he figured of the top of his head that we'd be able to put together the network for under EUR 24,000 to reach the 24 homes. I'm going to start looking into the equipment I'd need on the ends of the connections to get a firm idea.
He also told me he has a presentation that Packet Clearing House gives about setting up larger-scale networks but that the same principles would apply to smaller networks. I wrote to him today to ask if he could pass it along.