Telenet Group and Fluvius announced a 66.8-33.2 joint venture infrastructure company, combining both companies’ fixed broadband network assets.
NetCo, the joint venture company, will invest in the evolution of their current hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) network infrastructure into a Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network, targeting 78 percent of their combined footprint in Flanders by 2038.
Telenet’s broadband footprint in parts of Brussels and Wallonia will be included in NetCo and be part of NetCo’s investments. The company will make an investment of up to €2 billion in the next eight years. It aims to use NetCo’s cash flow as well as additional intragroup financing facilities.
NetCo will focus on upgrading the existing HFC network with DOCSIS technology in areas where FTTH will not be deployed.
Telenet is already providing gigaspeed connectivity across its entire footprint following investments over the past decades. These were done across Telenet’s own network as well as the network which Telenet leases from Fluvius through a lease agreement in around one-third of Flanders.
Telenet will transfer 170 current employees to NetCo, which also aims to hire an additional 50 people. Fluvius will not transfer employees to NetCo.
More than 50 percent of homes passed in NetCo’s footprint are very economic to pass with FTTH at an estimated cost per premise of around €6503. This results in attractive returns given NetCo’s market-leading network penetration rate.
John Porter, Telenet CEO, said: “Using a mixture of both HFC and fiber technologies, we have a roadmap to offer all our customers speeds of 10 Gbps. With Fluvius as a strong partner, we will continue to develop our HFC infrastructure and implement as well new fiber technology, mainly in the last parts of our network, from the street into the homes.”