In the coming years, Bruges will be gradually supplied with fiber, and many households and businesses will have access to the fixed communication network of the future. Proximus is thereby the first operator to not only introduce fiber for new plots, but to also extend it all the way into existing homes.
By 2028, Proximus aims to offer coverage to more than 63,000 homes and businesses in Bruges.
Fiber, an unparalleled technology
Fiber is the ultimate broadband technology of the future and responds to the exponential increase in data traffic for both residential and professional customers. With optical fiber, all the members of a household can (tele)work, surf, stream videos and play online games at the same time, without delays or loss of quality.
They can each count on an excellent, secure, stable, and reliable customer experience, thanks to a network with virtually unlimited capacity that offers extensive bandwidths. Fiber is a great asset for companies, enabling them to fully exploit all the possibilities of digitization and to remain competitive, agile and innovative.
This ultra-fast technology also stimulates the adoption of new ways of working and supports the explosion of advanced technological developments in the areas of artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality, data analytics and the Internet of Things. Fiber is also environmentally friendly, because it is more energy-efficient than copper and has a longer lifespan.
An ambitious roll-out of fiber in Belgium
Proximus launched the “Fiber for Belgium” investment plan in December 2016, with the aim of rolling out fiber to the majority of businesses and city centers in Belgium. In 2020, Proximus announced a significant acceleration and expansion of its program.
It brought forward its investments and signed two partnerships: with Eurofiber for the roll-out in Wallonia, and with EQT Infrastructure for the roll-out in Flanders. The envisaged coverage ratio was thereby increased, with the ultimate aim of reaching at least 70% of the Belgian population.
Fiber in Bruges for more than 63,000 homes and businesses
Proximus is already present with its fiber technology on almost every street corner. The next challenge is to close the last few meters into the home or company with fiber. The roll-out of fiber in Bruges will be gradually scaled up in the coming years, with the ultimate goal of providing coverage for over 63,000 households and companies.
In order to ensure efficient planning, each city is divided into different zones where Proximus plans to roll out fiber in the coming years. The roll-out will take place in phases, in close consultation with the city council.
Phases of the roll-out
Given the relative calm in the streets of Bruges because of the Covid-19 crisis, the roll-out has already started in the city center. More than 8,000 homes and businesses in the city center will already have access to fiber in 2021, at a rate of 600 units per month.
The northern part of the city center is planned for 2022, as are parts of Sint-Michiels, Sint-Katarina and Assebroek.
The western part (parts of Sint-Andries and Sint-Pieters) will follow in 2023, and the eastern part (parts of Sint-Jozef, Sint-Kruis and Ver-Assebroek) in 2024.
Between 2024 and 2028, the roll-out will continue outside the city center and in Zeebrugge.
In addition, Proximus is involved in 129 new-build projects in Bruges, covering more than 3,700 residential new-build homes which are, or will be equipped with fiber. Finally, around 380 companies are already connected to the fiber network today.
Proximus will take maximum account of the specific historic character of the city center of Bruges. This will be done in close consultation with Monumentenzorg (Heritage Conservation Department). Proximus will also work constructively with the City of Bruges to minimize the impact to residents, day trippers and tourists.