Proximus brings the superfast fiber network to Leuven
- At the end of 2016, Proximus announced "Fiber for Belgium", a multi-billion-euro long-term investment to roll out the high-speed fiber network.
- Earlier this year, Proximus decided to undertake a significant expansion and acceleration of its fiber program. This will enable up to 4.2 million homes and businesses to be connected to fiber, equating to approximately 70% fiber coverage.
- Today, the roll-out is underway in 13 cities. The first neighborhoods in Leuven have already been connected, with large parts of the city center and the station area starting this year.
- Fiber is the fixed network of the future: thanks to unrivalled speeds, with equal upload and download times, fiber is an enabler for new ways of living and working, resulting in very high customer satisfaction.
In the coming years, Leuven will gradually be supplied with fiber and a large number of households and businesses will have access to the fixed communication network of the future. This makes Proximus the first operator to bring fiber not only into new developments, but also extending it all the way into existing homes. By 2024, Proximus will provide coverage to more than 50,000 homes and businesses in Leuven.
Proximus brings fiber into homes and businesses
Fiber is the ultimate broadband network of the future for residential and business customers alike. With optical fiber, all members of a household can surf, stream videos and engage in online gaming at the same time, without latency or loss of quality. They can count on an excellent, secure, stable and reliable customer experience, thanks to a network with virtually unlimited capacity that offers very large bandwidths. What's more, fiber is the ideal solution for business customers: they can utilize all the possibilities of the digital economy and remain competitive, agile and innovative, thanks to future-proof, reliable and scalable technologies. The many advantages offered by fiber also facilitate the adoption of new ways of working and technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, connected objects and VR.
A high-performance network is needed to support these applications. In the coming years, data traffic will continue to grow exponentially, mainly driven by video and cloud applications and by the Internet of Things. As a pioneer in network technologies, Proximus wants to anticipate the needs of its customers and prepare its infrastructure for the future.
That is why Proximus, a pioneer in fiber for many years, launched the "Fiber for Belgium" investment plan in 2016 to roll out fiber to the majority of businesses and city centers in Belgium. In March 2020, Proximus announced a significant acceleration by bringing forward investments and actively looking for partners who are willing to cooperate or co-invest. At the same time, the planned coverage ratio was further expanded, with the ultimate goal of achieving a national fiber coverage of at least 70%.
The roll-out of fiber also heralds a new phase for the digital revolution in Leuven. Thanks to fiber, residents and businesses will gain access to the most advanced digital services, thus benefiting growth and employment in the city and the region. This fixed network of the future also opens up a world of opportunities for the further digitalization of Leuven as a "smart city". In time, fiber networks will become an essential part of the urban infrastructure everywhere, comparable to water or electricity.
We are delighted to unveil our plans for fiber in Leuven today. In recent years, we have gradually increased the pace of our roll-out, and earlier this year we announced a true quantum leap, enabling us to go even faster and wider. Residents and businesses in different parts of Leuven will soon be able to discover for themselves how fiber offers the ultimate broadband experience for surfing, streaming, gaming and working at the speed of light. Our fiber network is also an open network, on which all the other operators are welcome to offer services to their customers.
We are happy that the fiber network in our city will expand. This is not only good for the people of Leuven, but also for the organisation of the city. We are making full use of new, digital technologies to meet the challenges our city faces and thus make Leuven an even more pleasant and sustainable city. A stable and fast Internet connection is often indispensable to achieve this. For example, we will use sensors to measure the noise in the Naamsestraat, providing us with reliable data to tackle the noise nuisance in a targeted manner. In the coming years we will be rolling out even more projects of this kind, for which a fast, solid and reliable network is a requirement.
This is an important step for many companies in Leuven. I'm thinking, for example, of companies developing applications to automate the industry worldwide or companies developing smartphone apps. They can now perform even more tests, remain innovative and prepare for the future. Similarly, digital ways of working and digital sales are important for all companies nowadays. In the future, they will be able to take care of this faster and more comfortably.
Timing and impact of the works
Proximus has divided the city into several zones in order to equip it with fiber. The roll-out will take place in a number of phases, always in consultation with the city council.
- The first neighborhoods in the northern and eastern part of the city center have already been connected. In addition, Proximus is involved in 93 new housing projects in Leuven, representing more than 3,000 residential new homes that are or will be equipped with fiber. Approximately half of these have already been completed. Finally, some 550 companies in Leuven and its surroundings can already be connected to the fiber network today.
- In 2020-2021, the area around the Grote Markt and the railway station will be addressed.
- By 2024, the rest of the city center and parts of Heverlee, Kessel-Lo, and Wilsele, as well as neighboring Herent, will be gradually equipped with fiber. In this way, more than 50,000 homes and businesses in Leuven and its suburbs will be able to be connected to the fiber network.
The impact of the works will be kept to a minimum. Before the works start, Proximus will carry out an analysis to optimize the roll-out and will opt as much as possible for wall mounting rather than underground installation, especially in densely built-up areas. This makes the roll-out much faster, with limited inconvenience for the residents.
A clear and transparent information campaign
Proximus will communicate openly and transparently with all the residents and businesses in the areas where fiber is to be rolled out. The residents will be extensively informed of the roll-out and the advantages of fiber by means of letters and local information sessions, through the mobile info point that regularly drives by or via the webpage www.proximus.be/leuven with specific information on the progress of the works. For additional questions, they can contact a specially provided 0800 number or call into the local shops. In addition, Proximus is proactively contacting each business individually to see which fiber solution best fits its specific needs.