Flanders and Telenet reach an agreement about the ‘network of the future’

Brussels, 23 July 2018. Flemish Minister-President Geert Bourgeois, Flemish Minister for Innovation Philippe Muyters and Telenet CEO John Porter have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the super high speed digital network of the future. The aim of the agreement is to position Flemish companies and families at the global leading edge in terms of innovative digitization.

In September of last year, the Flemish Government announced its ambition to place Flanders at the top where digitization is concerned, for both our companies and Flemish families. In order to achieve that goal, an ultrafast digital network is required, among other factors.

Flemish Minister for Innovation Philippe Muyters listed four conditions with which this network should comply: (a) sufficient capacity to be able to also guarantee the increased demand for data in the future, (b) a sufficiently high coverage ratio in Flanders, (c) and access for other market players (d) at a fair price. He added that he would prefer to have that network realized through the private market.

The Flemish Government and Telenet reached an agreement today. In concrete terms, Telenet will undertake to start providing ultra-high speeds on its network in the coming years. Thanks to the investment of 500 million euro in the Great Network - i.e. the network modernization program launched by Telenet in 2014 - the company will eventually be able to provide giga speeds throughout Flanders, thereby keeping Flanders at the digital top. The technological developments will be monitored through annual meetings with the Flemish Government. Due to the regulations imposed on Telenet, the network will also be available at fair, regulated prices. For its part, the Flemish Government will create the appropriate framework conditions within which these commitments can be met.

Flemish Minister Muyters: “I am pleased that we can join forces with the private market to achieve our four objectives and set up a digital ecosystem in which it will be possible to continue to offer innovative applications to companies and Flemish families. We have made clear agreements and mutual commitments, and will monitor the implementation of this memorandum together.”

Minister-President Geert Bourgeois: “This MoU is a major step forward for digital Flanders. We are setting clear joint objectives and are making a joint commitment between government and private companies. We are building a constructive climate in which operators are given the room to achieve these objectives.”

John Porter, CEO Telenet: “In order to meet the exploding digitization and the increased data consumption, we must make continuous investments in order to be able to provide increased Internet capacity and higher speeds. It is therefore important that we can continue to work in a positive climate. This agreement with the Flemish Government is therefore a great step in the right direction.”

Isabelle Geeraerts Woordvoerster Telenet
Thomas Pollet Woordvoerder minister Muyters