Proximus launches "Fiber for Liège"
Proximus launches "Fiber for Liège"
- In December 2016, Proximus announced an investment of 3 billion euro over the next 10 years to accelerate the roll-out of optical fiber in Belgium.
- Proximus aims to provide optical fiber to more than 85% of businesses and over 50% of households in Belgium.
- After rolling out optical fiber in six cities, Proximus is adding other cities to its investment plan.
- It is starting with Liège, where Proximus and the municipal authorities today unveiled the "Fiber for Liège" project.
- In the coming weeks, optical fiber will be rolled out in the Liège city center to begin with, taking advantage of ongoing works for the tram project in order to minimize hindrance.
- The 12 business parks in the outskirts of Liège will be fully connected to optical fiber by the end of 2018.
- Optical fiber is the fixed network of the future: it offers unprecedented speeds, with identical upstream and downstream rates, and opens up new possibilities for living and working, with a very high level of customer satisfaction.
In the coming years, the entire City of Liège will be gradually equipped with optical fiber, allowing a large number of businesses and households to be connected to the fixed network of the future. Over the past few years, Proximus has connected around 160 businesses to fiber in the City of Liège, while 70% of the 81 business parks in the Province of Liège are now connected to fiber. With the launch of the "Fiber for Liège" project, Proximus is the first operator in Belgium to also bring fiber to existing residential homes.
Proximus brings fiber to homes and businesses
Why do we need fiber? Data traffic and digital services will continue to grow exponentially over the next few years, driven mainly by video and cloud applications and the Internet of Things. As a pioneer in the field of network technologies, Proximus wants to anticipate customer needs and prepare its infrastructure for the future.
In December 2016, Proximus, which has been at the cutting edge of fiber technology for many years, launched a "Fiber for Belgium" investment plan. This plan aims to speed up the roll-out of optical fiber in Belgium and to cover more than 85% of businesses and over 50% of households.
Optical fiber is the ultimate broadband network of the future, for both residential and business customers. With optical fiber, all the members of a household can browse the Internet, watch streamed content, and play games online simultaneously, with no latency or loss in quality. They also benefit from the sharpest images on all their screens. What’s more, fiber is the perfect solution for business customers because, apart from allowing people to collaborate more efficiently, it also offers increased reliability and better data protection.
From a financial and operational point of view, it clearly makes sense to deploy optical fiber to both businesses and existing homes in densely populated urban areas. And that’s exactly what Proximus is doing in Liège, where fiber will be rolled out for business and residential customers at the same time.
Optical fiber is the technology which will allow our customers to make the most of the opportunities of the digital age, thanks to upload and download speeds of a kind never seen before in Belgium. In the coming months, the inhabitants of Liège city center will be able to discover for themselves this ultimate broadband experience for surfing, watching streaming content, gaming, and working at the speed of light. We will give everyone, even people who are not yet Proximus customers, the opportunity to get connected to fiber without installation charges.
Advancing the digital revolution in Liège
The roll-out of optical fiber will clearly benefit the inhabitants and businesses of the City of Liège. It will give them access to the most advanced digital services, and this will promote growth and employment in the city and region. The roll-out of the fixed network of the future in Liège also opens up a world of possibilities for digitization in the city, which, as a "smart city", is already a pioneer in Belgium.
The "Ardent City", as Liège is known, is undergoing a digital revolution since the launch of its e-desk a few months ago. This platform allows Liège residents to carry out a number of administrative procedures remotely. Ultimately, the aim of the City of Liège is to establish an almost entirely electronic administration, in order to facilitate administrative procedures for citizens, avoid unnecessary trips, and reduce waiting times at the desk for those who have to go there in person.
Willy Demeyer, Mayor of the City of Liège:
To maintain a human scale and remain pleasant and attractive places to live in, cities must invest in digital technologies, to allow citizens to save time and increase their purchasing power. In Liège, we are innovating in this area with our e-desk platform, with our participation in digital citizens (RéinventonsLiège.be), and soon with an Open Data platform and interface which will allow citizens to report any disturbances or problems on public roads. We welcome investments by operators, such as the investment in fiber today, which benefit the citizens of Liège.
Dominique Leroy, CEO of Proximus
Thanks to optical fiber, a real shift is taking place. In the coming months, the extraordinary power of optical fiber will help the City of Liège achieve its great ambitions with regard to digital services for its citizens and companies. With 'Fiber for Liège', Proximus intends to help Liège build its digital infrastructure for the future.
Large-scale information campaign aimed at citizens
Proximus will be communicating openly and transparently with all the inhabitants and businesses in the areas covered by the fiber roll-out. By the end of 2017, the roll-out of fiber in existing buildings will start in the city center of Liège, to take advantage of ongoing works for the tram project.
In general, the hindrance related to the fiber installation works will be reduced as much as possible. Proximus will be carrying out an analysis before work gets underway in order to optimize the roll-out operation and, as far as possible, opt for connections on building facades rather than underground. This façade-mounting technique will allow Proximus to avoid opening up roads and pavements and to roll out fiber more quickly.
In terms of timing, the aim is to roll out fiber in Liège in various stages, always in consultation with the City. For residents, Proximus hopes to have completed the first two sites of the "Fiber for Liège" project by the end of September 2018. Thanks to a communication plan specially developed for the inhabitants of Liège, including an 0800 toll-free number, information in shops, and local information sessions, citizens will be kept fully informed about the roll-out schedule and the benefits of optical fiber.
For companies operating in Liège, the aim is to connect 50 additional company sites and get 12 industrial parks on the outskirts of Liège fully equipped with fiber by the end of 2018. Proximus will contact the companies proactively and individually, in order to choose the fiber solution best suited to their specific needs.
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