Proximus continues to expand its fiber roll-out and is starting to deploy in Mechelen and Sint-Niklaas
Proximus today announces that it will start to deploy its fiber network in Mechelen and Sint-Niklaas. The roll-out is already underway in 16 Belgian cities, and more than 400,000 homes and businesses can now be connected to fiber. The ultimate goal is to connect up to 4.2 million homes and businesses by the end of 2028, representing approximately 70% of national fiber coverage.
At the end of 2016, Proximus announced a multi-billion investment to roll out the super-fast fixed network of the future. Earlier this year, the decision was made to realize a significant expansion and acceleration of the investment program, not only by rolling out faster and more efficiently, but also by actively looking for partners who are willing to cooperate or co-invest.
Fiber is the ultimate broadband technology that offers an answer to the exponential increase in data traffic, and allows all family members to surf, stream videos and play online games simultaneously, without any delay or loss of quality. They can count on an excellent, secure and stable customer experience, thanks to a network that can handle very large bandwidths and offers virtually unlimited capacity. Fiber is an enormous asset for companies, enabling them to fully exploit the possibilities of the digital economy and to remain competitive, agile and innovative. The ultra-fast network also stimulates the adoption of new ways of working and supports the latest technological developments in the areas of artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality, data analytics and the Internet of Things.
At the same time, fiber marks the beginning of a new era for the digital transformation of cities, whether by offering the most advanced digital services to residents and businesses, or through focusing on further digitization and growing as a smart city. In time, fiber networks will become an essential component of the urban infrastructure everywhere, comparable to water or electricity.
Details on the rollout in Mechelen and Sint-Niklaas
Proximus is already present with its fiber technology on almost every street corner. The next challenge is to close the last few meters, from the street cabinet to inside the home or company, with fiber. The roll-out of fiber in Mechelen and Sint-Niklaas will thereby be gradually scaled up in the coming years, with the ultimate goal of providing coverage for a total of at least 62,000 households and companies in the two cities.
In order to ensure efficient planning, each city is divided into different zones in which Proximus plans to roll out fiber in the coming years. The rollout will take place in phases, in close consultation with the city council.
Phases of the rollout in Mechelen
- In Mechelen, the area around "den Bruul", the Botermarkt and the Vijfhoek was already provided with fiber in 2019. The northern part of the city center is currently under development, and the southern part will follow in 2021. The ambition is to then expand further outside the city ring and into the boroughs.
- In addition, Proximus is engaged in 117 new-build projects in Mechelen, involving more than 1,200 residential new-build homes which are, or will be, equipped with fiber.
- Last but not least, around 400 companies in Mechelen and the surrounding area can already be connected to the fiber network today. Around 75% of them already enjoy all the benefits of fiber.
Phases of the rollout in Sint-Niklaas
- In Sint-Niklaas, the area around the Grote Markt, the Stadsschouwburg and the Stationsstraat has already been largely fitted with fiber. The neighborhood around the City Park Stadspark and AZ Nicolaas will follow before the summer of 2021. Here, too, the ambition is then to continue the rollout further, outside the city center and into the boroughs.
- In addition, Proximus is engaged in 55 new-build projects in Sint-Niklaas, involving more than 1,100 residential new-build homes that are, or will be, equipped with fiber.
- Finally, approximately 650 companies in Sint-Niklaas and the surrounding area can already be connected to the fiber network today. About 250 of these already enjoy all the benefits of fiber.
A clear and transparent information campaign
The impact of the work will be kept to a minimum. Before the work starts, Proximus will carry out an analysis to optimize the roll-out, and will opt for façade installation as much as possible, rather than going underground, especially in densely built-up areas. This will make the roll-out much faster, with limited inconvenience for the residents.
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 informed extensively on the rollout and the advantages of fiber by means of information letters and local information sessions, by the mobile fiber-info point, and via the www.proximus.be/leuven webpage, with specific information on the progress of the work. If there are any additional questions about the work, they can call 0800 900 46 (for Mechelen) or 0800 900 47 (for Sint-Niklaas) or visit the local Proximus shops. In addition, Proximus is proactively contacting each business individually in order to see which fiber solution best fits their specific needs.
We are very pleased to announce today that we are bringing the network of the future to Mechelen and Sint-Niklaas. Earlier this year, we announced a significant expansion and acceleration of our fiber rollout across Belgium, and residents and businesses in Mechelen and Sint-Niklaas will soon be able to discover for themselves how fiber offers the ultimate broadband experience for surfing, streaming, gaming and homeworking with the speed of light. Our fiber network is also a completely open network, on which all operators are welcome to offer services to their customers.
Patrick Princen, first alderman in charge of public works and Marina De Bie, alderman for smart city in Mechelen
"As a city we are moving further and further in the direction of digitization and we are increasingly using smart applications helping us pursue our policy more effectively or to serve the people of Mechelen better. The questions of the citizens in this area are also increasing. Especially since the start of the Covid crisis, digital channels are being used much more often by everyone. Therefore it is important that the networks and the supply in the city are sufficient to meet these needs. Utility works such as these inevitably cause inconveniences for local residents, which is why we follow them up closely. We are convinced that Proximus will do everything it can to ensure that the works run as smoothly as possible and that everything is restored to its original state after the works have been completed."
Carl Hanssens, alderman responsible for mobility, public space and urban development in Sint-Niklaas
"We know that the work that Proximus is carrying out in order to install fiber can cause some inconvenience at certain times, but we’re convinced that this has been reduced to the absolute minimum through good agreements between the company and the city. It’s in all our interests that telecom players, including Proximus, continue to invest in a high-performance network. In this digital era, that’s good for our companies and for our citizens."