Belgian full-service provider Proximus has announced plans to connect more than 65,000 homes and businesses in the southern part of West Flanders to its open fibre network by 2024, as part of a wider aim to expand coverage to more than 80% in the cities and municipalities concerned by 2028.
Outlining the plan, Proximus CTO Geert Standaert explained more than 10,000 homes and businesses have already been connected to the operator’s new fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network in the area, primarily in Kortrijk (where deployment started in 2019), while construction is underway in Harelbeke and preparatory work has begun in Waregem. Work is also scheduled to start in Menen and Izegem before the end of the year, and the first connections in Ypres and Wevelgem will follow in 2023.
Proximus announced its ‘Fibre for Belgium’ investment plan in late 2016 with the aim of rolling out fibre to the majority of businesses and city centres in Belgium. In 2020, the project was significantly accelerated and expanded, supported by the creation of the joint ventures Fiberklaar in Flanders and Unifiber in Wallonia. The envisaged coverage ratio was also increased, with the ultimate aim of connecting as many as 4.2 million premises (equivalent to 70% population coverage) by 2028. The operator’s FTTP network passed 813,000 homes and businesses in 35 cities and municipalities at the end of 2021.