Fiber is here for us … and for our grandchildren

The first weeks of school got me thinking back to my own studying days. When I was in my teens, research for school tasks had to be done in an actual library. Which means you had to spend at least a few hours to go there, find the books you needed, and head back. Now, my kids just open Google. I was born in the seventies, my kids in 2000, 2003 and 2005. Sometimes, it still blows my mind how much can change in just one generation. And today, we’re already laying the foundations that will benefit the next.

Nowadays, using the services made possible by the internet has become second nature. I use WhatsApp to text a friend I’ll be 5 minutes late, my kids upload their school tasks to SmartSchool, my wife checks her phone to see if the pizza will be there soon … It's all a normal part of life.

A laptop and internet should be enough to launch a business

In a previous post on LinkedIn, I wrote about how Proximus has a role to play in society: to keep everyone connected. I'd like to add something to that: we also play a vital role in the economy. A laptop, a power outlet, and an internet connection: you don’t need much more today to launch a business. However, a strong network infrastructure is a prerequisite for that.

Its importance will become even more apparent when innovations like AI and the Internet of Things really start to take root. Those technologies will lead to even more products and services, creating a wealth of new possibilities for our future generations. The potential is huge, but all of it requires a tremendous amount of knowledge and data – and consequently, a reliable, high-speed network.

All the more reason for us to pledge to build the best possible grid Belgium could have, with 70% coverage by the end of 2028. And it's also a very good reason to want to set a benchmark in Belgium and even Europe and to do so in a sustainable way.

Thinking long-term puts us all in the lead

The benefits of a strong network for a more prosperous society can’t be stressed enough. But we have to think long-term. As we’re investing billions of euros in fiber, we can’t possibly expect to earn them back in the first year. The infrastructure we’re putting in the ground now, may be here for a very long time. Sure, the equipment may need an upgrade from time to time, but that's not going to be the biggest cost. What we’re doing now is a one-of-a-kind investment.

We’re not just thinking about today, but about the future. We’re building this not only for ourselves, but so our children and grandchildren can reap the benefits. Who knows what possibilities are still in store for them. And who knows what kind of currently unimaginable technology my unborn grandson will build for the generations that come after him ...

Geert Standaert, Chief Technology Officer at Proximus

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