The bets have been placed: by 2013, all European citizens shall benefit from a broadband Internet connection. The stakes are high, and projects like ALPHA (Architectures for fLexible Photonic Home and Access networks) and SARDANA (Scalable Advanced Ring-based passive Dense Access Network Architecture) are there to make it all possible. Funded under the EU 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development, both projects feature an innovative approach towards increasing fibre optic networks reach and quality of service for European users. A broader reach to remote, rural areas of up to 100 km and greater network capacity ensuring considerably faster broadband connections for end-users is what the two projects have delivered so far. Moreover, SARDANA's approach won the award for broadband capacity innovation at the 2011 Global Telecommunications Business Innovation Awards in the fixed network infrastructure category. This comes as encouraging news, given the Digital Agenda for Europe's main aims: enabling 30Mbp/s connections for all Europeans and 100Mbp/s connections for at least 50% of households, by 2020.