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Eurobites: Proximus sprouts more fiber around Brussels

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange opens two more digital centers in Africa; Telia TV hosts HBO Max; smart-home wars.

  • Belgium's Proximus plans to provide more than 60,000 homes and business in the Flemish periphery of Brussels with a fiber connection by 2023, with a longer-term aim of reaching 83% coverage in the municipalities concerned by 2028. The rollout forms part of the operator's "Fiber for Belgium" investment plan, which was announced five years ago. The project received a boost last year following the creation of the joint ventures Fiberklaar (in Flanders) and Unifiber (in Wallonia). (See Eurobites: Proximus seals JV for Flanders fiber rollout, Eurobites: Proximus Secures €400M Loan to Further Fiber Rollout and Eurobites: Proximus Invests €3B in Fiber Frenzy.)

  • Orange has flicked the switch on two new African "digital centers," one in Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. The centers comprise a coding school, a digital manufacturing workshop, a startup accelerator and Orange Ventures Africa, Orange's investment fund. There are now eight such centers in Africa, with more planned by the end of the year.

  • Telia is bringing the HBO Max streaming service onto its TV platform, offering the likes of The Sopranos and Gossip Girl to those Nordic households that want them. The fun starts on October 26.

  • There was a time neighbor disputes were all about outsize leylandii and badly timed bonfires; now it's smart-home technology that's prompting dirty looks across the garden fence. At least, that's the case in the English county of Oxfordshire, where security cameras and a connected Ring doorbell have given rise to a court case, with one neighbor, a Dr. Mary Fairhurst, affronted that the Amazon-controlled wizardry was keeping tabs on her garden as well as that of her early-adopter neighbor, Jon Woodard. As the BBC reports, the judge ruled in the doctor's favor, saying that the surveillance set-up was a breach of UK data laws, as the data it hoovered up related to her property as well as that of her neighbor. Mr. Woodard didn't see that coming up the garden path…

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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