Proximus: reaches the symbolic milestone of one million homes and businesses connected to fiber
On Monday 27 June, the Atomium became the millionth building in Belgium to be connected to fibre, the broadband technology of the future. The event was celebrated in the presence of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter, Mayor of Brussels Philippe Close and all the partners involved in the “Fiber for Belgium” plan. Today, and thanks to Proximus, Belgium is the country with the fastest fiber deployment rate in Europe, with an additional home or business added every 15 seconds. Reliable and fast connectivity is crucial for the growth of the Belgian economy and for the digital development of our society.
More than ever, Belgian citizens and businesses need reliable and fast connectivity. Hence the importance for them of being able to have access to fiber in the years to come. For residential customers, this technology allows all members of the family to (tele)work, surf, stream videos and play online simultaneously, without latency or loss of quality. Fiber offers enormous advantages to businesses, allowing them to exploit all the opportunities of digitization and to remain competitive, flexible and innovative. More generally, it is true that broadband networks such as fiber are today an essential component of public service infrastructure, including water and electricity.
An investment of more than 5 billion euros
This is why Proximus took the bull by the horns in 2016 by launching the “Fiber for Belgium” investment plan. The objective of this ambitious plan, which represents an investment of more than 5 billion euros, is to deploy fiber in the vast majority of businesses and urban centers in Belgium and to cover at least 70% of the Belgian population in by 2028. It sets out to make fiber available to homes and households, but also to public buildings, social housing and even emblematic buildings such as the Atomium. Since 2021, the speed and scale of the project has increased considerably thanks to the creation of the joint ventures Fiberklaar in Flanders and Unifiber in Wallonia, which have enabled Proximus to accelerate the pace and also to extend its fiber network to areas medium population. density.
The results are spectacular: today, more than one million homes and businesses are ready for fiber in more than 50 cities and towns in Belgium. Currently, 17% of homes and businesses in Belgium are already covered by fibre. By the end of the year, this figure will have increased to 22%, which gives an idea of the speed of deployment. The objective is to eventually offer a gigabit network to the entire population and businesses.
The network deployed by Proximus, Fiberklaar and Unifiber is completely open. Thanks to this characteristic, any operator can take advantage of this network to offer its services. Today, 37 operators already have an agreement with Proximus to use these gigabit networks.
Good connectivity is essential for the development of a country
The deployment of the network is not a solitary undertaking but depends on close collaboration with all the actors: the towns and their authorities to reduce nuisances for local residents, the 6,000 property managers in Belgium, other entrepreneurs, promoters who build the buildings, and the site partners.
Symbolically, the Atomium, one of the sites most associated with Belgium in the world, has become the millionth building to be connected to fibre. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter and Mayor of Brussels Philippe Close were present alongside Guillaume Boutin, CEO of Proximus, to celebrate this event, underlining the importance of this modern connectivity for development of a country or a city.
It gives me great satisfaction to see how quickly Proximus and its partners are deploying fiber in the three regions of the country. The investment is colossal, since we are talking about a total cost of 5 billion euros, but it is absolutely crucial for the growth of our economy and for improving the daily lives of our fellow citizens. I am also pleased that this investment generates employment and economic activity in our country, given that, according to estimates, 60% of what is invested in the deployment of fiber is injected directly back into the economy. local.
Today’s event at the Atomium is an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work carried out by the Proximus teams and all our partners. Over the past two years, we have dramatically accelerated the pace of fiber deployment, becoming one of the most successful operators in Europe in this area. To continue to meet the expectations of citizens and businesses, we are building the best gigabit network in Belgium, based on modern technology and completely secure. This network is of course open to Proximus customers and to those of other operators who would like to join us.