I subscribe to broadband via DSL and cable. At 4.5 km from the DSL exchange I receive 1 Mbit/s via the competitive operator Free - too slow for me to take advantage of their IPTV offer for example. I also subscribe to Noos for cable Internet. I pay for a 30 Mbit/s connection but receive only 3 Mbit/s - and even that is traffic shaped. Even 200 euros of calls to the helpline at 34 cents a minute hasn't solved the problem. I am not alone. It seems that almost everyone I speak with here has similar problems and people are getting fed up.
There is talk around town that France Telecom has offered to upgrade the exchange if the town will pay the costs (roughly EUR 50K). I say no. We're going to build this network ourselves. We are going to bring our own broadband to our homes.
Our goal is simple. We want a fiber to the home network capable of gigabit speeds which will be open to services from any operator. I've spent enough time writing about "open access" networks and infrastructure-based competition at work. Now it's time to get down and dirty and build one myself.
I've decided to keep a journal of my experiences along the way in case someone wants to replicate a similar rollout. This certainly won't be the first of it's kind. That honor probably goes to Måttgränd, Sweden. I'll be contacting them shortly for advice. However, I hope this project will show whether it is indeed possible for a small provider to roll out FTTH without economies of scale.