Telenet plans gigabit upgrade to Belgian cable network

Belgian cable operator Telenet says it plans to invest €500 million over five years to upgrade its hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) network to gigabit speeds for all citizens in Flanders.

Belgian cable operator Telenet says it plans to invest €500 million over five years to upgrade its hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) network to gigabit speeds for all citizens in Flanders.

Between 2014 and 2019, Telenet will be making this huge investment to upgrade its network so that customers can continue to enjoy the very best digital experience, the company says. In specific terms, Telenet will be upgrading its cable network from 600 MHz to 1 GHz.

Telenet says its Internet customers already enjoy connection speeds of 160 Mbps. As a result of this investment, in time the network will be able to support Internet connection speeds of 1 Gbps. Both residential and business customers will be able to upload and download information at superfast speeds, enjoy high-quality video streaming (HD or 4K), use online collaboration tools, engage in remote healthcare, and complete many other tasks more efficiently.

Flanders is one of the first regions in Europe in which a 1-GHz cable network of this scale is being rolled out, and will consequently move firmly to the top of the list of regions with the best digital infrastructure in Europe, Telenet asserts. The investment project will also create 250 new jobs in Flanders over the five years.

John Porter, CEO of Telenet, said, "Telenet has always been a pioneer. Once again we want to make our contribution to the digital future of Flanders. We are proud that with this investment we will ensure that Flanders is a front runner in Europe in rolling out a 1-GHz network of this scale. With the 1 GHz network we will be able to guarantee that all of our residential and business customers will be able to have access to the bandwidth, which they will need in the future. The upgrading of the network creates tremendous opportunities in terms of video over the Internet, machine-to-machine communication, e-health, monitoring security, cloud computing and other future innovations. It has the potential to be a huge stimulus for the digital economy in Flanders."

Geert Bourgeois, minister-president of the Flemish government, said, "The digital world is evolving at breakneck speed and these new investments will ensure that Flanders remains the number one region when it comes to digitalization. Every Flemish resident will be able to reap the benefits."

The upgrade will involve replacing 150,000 amplifiers and 1.8 million other components such as splitters and taps. The regions where data traffic is greatest and which are most in need of this upgrade to the digital infrastructure will be first in line, the operator says.

Telenet is keen to reassure customers that disruption will be kept to a minimum. Work will take place in daylight hours on week days only. Components that need to be upgraded are are located on the side of the road, up poles or on exterior walls, so it shouldn't be necessary to dig up any roads or footpaths or enter customer premises, the operator says. Telenet says it will be "doing everything possible" to carry out the network changes for each location within one working day so that customers will be back online by five o'clock in the afternoon, and will be able to watch television, make calls on their fixed line and use the internet the same evening.

Work will start September 22 in several regions, including Mechelen, Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Waver, Lint, Mortsel, and Deinze.

For more information on cable broadband equipment and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.


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