Over the coming five years, Belgium’s Telenet, as the first operator in Europe, is to invest a total of €500 million to upgrade the cable network in Flanders to a Giga network.

In specific terms, Telenet will be upgrading the network from 600 MegaHertz (MHz) to 1 GigaHertz (GHz). Telenet Internet customers currently enjoy connection speeds of 160 Mbps. As a result of this investment project, in time the network will be able to support internet connection speeds of at least 1 gigabit per second. 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, etc.

Flanders is the first regions in Europe in which a 1 GHz 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. The investment project will create 250 new jobs in Flanders over the five years.

John Porter, CEO of Telenet, said in a statement: “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 1GHz 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, added: “To support future, creative development of the media and telecom sector, further development of the digital distribution infrastructure is required. I am delighted that Telenet is stepping up to this challenge. Partly thanks to Telenet, Flanders already leads Europe in terms of broadband infrastructure. The digital world is evolving at breakneck speed and these new investments will ensure that Flanders remains the No. One region when it comes to digitalisation. Every Flemish resident will be able to reap the benefits of this.”