Belgium lags far behind in fibre internet access

Belgium lags far behind in fibre internet access
The installation of optical fiber in a residential area in Ghent, February 2022. Credit: James Arthur Gekiere/ Belga

Belgian telecom regulator BIPT reported that only 6.5% of households have access to fibre optic networks – which are the most reliable and fast way to connect to the internet – in Belgium.

Fibre internet uses fibre-optic cables to transfer data using light signals. Connections via fibre cables distort less over longer distances, unlike the copper wires used by cable and digital subscriber line (DSL) internet networks.

Compared to the EU average of 42.5% of households having access to fibre internet, Belgium lags far behind. While the number of households and companies with a broadband fibre connection increased by 71% last year, it still only accounted for 3% of all fixed broadband lines.

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A movement toward increasing fibre connections is growing, and Belgian telecom operators invested a record-breaking €1.022 billion in their fixed networks last year, reports Belga News Agency. According to BIPT, most of the money was going toward fibre optic networks.

By 2028, Proximus, together with Fiberklaar and Unifiber, is aiming for 4.2 million fibre optic connections in Belgium. If this goal is reached, it would cover 70% of all households and companies. Telenet and electricity network manager Fluvius signed a letter of intent last year to jointly roll out fibre in Flanders.

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