Belgian full-service provider Proximus has announced it has reached the milestone of one million homes and businesses passed by its open access fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network. The millionth connection was completed at the Atomium in Brussels on 27 June, at an event attended by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter, the Mayor of Brussels Philippe Close and partners involved in the operator’s ‘Fibre for Belgium’ plan. Thanks to its deployment programme, Proximus claims Belgium is the country with the fastest fibre rollout rate in Europe, with an additional home or business added every 15 seconds.
Proximus launched its EUR5 billion (USD5.29 billion) ‘Fibre for Belgium’ investment plan in December 2016, with the aim to roll out fibre to the vast majority of the country’s business and urban centres and to cover at least 70% of the population by 2028. Since 2021, the speed and scope of the project have increased considerably thanks to the creation of the joint ventures Fiberklaar in Flanders and Unifiber in Wallonia, which have enabled Proximus to step up the pace and to extend its fibre network to areas with medium population density. As a result, more than one million homes and businesses in 50 towns and cities are already covered by fibre – equivalent to coverage of 17%. Proximus expects this figure will have risen to 22% by the end of the year. The objective is to eventually offer a gigabit network for the entire population and all businesses, the operator said.