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Belgium's Council of Ministers launches national high-speed coverage plan

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Telecom Minister Petra De Sutter said about 138,000 households are still unable to access high speed broadband.

Belgium’s Federal Council of Ministers has launched a national plan for fixed and mobile broadband to bring high-speed connections to all premises in the country and eliminate what it calls white-zone.

The Council said the issue must be addressed if Belgium is to achieve the European Union (EU) target of all homes having access to download speeds of 100Mbps by 2025 and 1Gbps by 2030.

Green and inclusive

The plan, Achieving digital transformation, is also part of the country's green transition.

Minister De Sutter stressed that no-one should be left behind,However, we must ensure that no one is left behind. She said, "Every month, mayors from remote municipalities or parliamentarians ask me questions about this, and rightly so, because each of us has the right to access a quality internet. This is all the more true as in the future teleworking and remote learning will be increasingly common."

Under the plan, every white zone – about 2% of territory – will be mapped and a government unit set up with responsibility for implementing the plan and monitoring its progress, along with  a Broadband Competence Office to deal with all issues relating to 5G and implementation of the EU Connectivity Toolbox.

The government will determine an exact budget for the plan at a later date.