New legal obligation to provide fast internet access

Flemish minister for the environment Joke Schauvliege intends to ensure that planning permission for housing or renovation work will only be issued if the housing is ready to provide fast internet. Ms Schauvliege says that she is responding to the EU's insistence to provide all citizens with fast internet.

Belgium currently performs well when it comes to providing fast internet for its citizens. Still figures from the economy ministry show that one in five households still hasn't got fast internet, often because of the cost.

New urban planning legislation imposing fast internet should also help to end discussions. At present some people only discover that they will have to dig up their drive to get fast internet installed after they have taken possession of their new home. Some tenants too have to make do without because landlords fail to install what is needed to provide fast internet to cut costs.

Telecom operators too have been requesting a clearer legal framework. The Flemish architects' association does not believe the new regulations will push up prices too much.