Expatica news

Broadband access takes off in Belgium

20 July 2004

BRUSSELS – Broadband access now accounts for 65 percent of all internet connections in Belgium, according to a report released on Tuesday.

The annual report of the consultative committee for telecommunications reveals a total of 1,230,000 Belgian broadband connections in 2003, the equivalent of 12.3 high-speed hook ups for every 100 inhabitants.

The figures rank Belgium fifth in terms of broadband access among the world’s most industrialised countries, preceded by only Korea, Canada, Iceland and Denmark.

Internet connections in total rose by 12 percent in 2003, with a total of 1,892,330 on-line users.

More than 90,000 “.be” domain names were registered in the same year, representing a rise of 14 031 on 2002 figures.

In 2003, fixed telephone lines still made up 37 percent of the market, with 44 percent taken up by mobile phones.

Despite the recent internet successes, Secretary of the consultative committee, Piet Steeland said there was much work to be done to develop broadband and adopt a Strategy for the information society in Belgium.

The committee has revived a list of priorities sent to Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt last year.

These include a call for the urgent application of EU laws in this field and more actions to encourage broadband take-up.

The report also asks operators of ‘third generation’ mobile networks to meet their obligations.

Finally, an appeal has been made to the government to give more powers to the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (IBPT) and guarantee stable regulatory environment for the sector that is favourable to investment.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news