The Flemish government and the Walloon Region recently renewed their collaboration with Belnet. This will allow all recognised Flemish and Walloon universities, colleges and research centres to enjoy high-performance access to the Belnet network at a greatly reduced rate for the next 15 years.
The collaboration between the Flemish government and Belnet and between the Walloon Region and Belnet dates back to 2001 and 2003, respectively.
They aim to assure Flemish and Walloon knowledge institutions of a high-performance and affordable connection to Belnet. With the signing of the new collaboration agreements, accredited universities, colleges and research centres will again be able to enjoy a significant discount on their annual bill for connectivity since 1 January 2023, for a period of 15 years.
Investment of more than 14 million euros
Specifically, the Flemish government is making a part of its fibre-optic network available to Belnet. It involves 12 routes, accounting for more than 400km of fibre. In addition, the Flemish government is renewing its investment in connectivity for Flemish colleges and providing an additional annual financial contribution.
Belnet and the Walloon Minister for Digitalisation, in collaboration with SOFICO, have negotiated a new cooperation agreement that gives Belnet an exclusive right to use its fibre-optic connections and associated infrastructure. Specifically, SOFICO will make a total of 906 kilometres of dark fibre available to Belnet in the south of the country.
In total, the Flemish government and the Walloon Region are jointly investing more than 14 million euros. Distributed over the next 15 years, this amount will be granted by Belnet as a significant discount on the beneficiary institutions' annual bills, allowing them to access the Belnet network and other research and education networks worldwide at a limited cost.