Orange Belgium has begun a pilot FTTP deployment in the Brussels-Capital region which will connect 15,000 homes and businesses in the municipalities of Evere and Ixelles to an open and future-proof fibre-optic network capable of multi-gigabit speeds. Orange said it intends to maximise the use of existing fibre infrastructure owned by the region’s government and public companies, which agreed earlier this year to pool their fibre assets and lease surplus capacity to other operators.
Announcing the deployment, Orange Belgium CEO Xavier Pichon commented: ‘To reach our convergent and fixed connectivity ambitions, Orange Belgium is relying on the Orange Group’s extensive fibre deployment experience (more than 49 million connections at European level) to launch this open passive fibre network pilot. This will allow telecom operators to bring differentiated offers and services to the market in fair conditions. This initiative will nurture innovation and a balanced competition to the benefits of the customers and contribute to the economic development of Belgium’s regions.’
While this deployment project only focuses on Evere and Ixelles in a first phase, Orange Belgium could extend it to other municipalities such as Schaerbeek in the future. The company currently provides broadband services using the cable networks of VOO and Telenet, while it has also partnered with Flemish utility provider Fluvius to roll out an open access FTTH network in Genk, Ghent, Diksmuide, Poperinge and Antwerp.