DELTA acceleration task: more customers with super-fast internet
Meer dan twintig jaar geleden begon DELTA Fiber in Zeeland met het aanleggen van het snelste internet van Nederland. Intussen hebben meer dan 1,3 miljoen huishoudens en bedrijven verspreid over heel Nederland toegang tot het glasvezelnetwerk van DELTA. Het bedrijf heeft grote ambities met zijn multi-Gig Glasvezel, op dit moment met 2 Gig het allersnelste glasvezelinternet voor consumenten in Nederland. In 2025 moeten twee miljoen huishoudens en bedrijven beschikken over snel glasvezel. MPM’er Emile Baltussen ondersteunt met gedegen stakeholders- en contractmanagement de versnelde uitrol van het netwerk.
The history of DELTA Fiber goes back to 1981. Then seven Westland municipalities unite for a Central Antenna installation (CAI Westland, Caiway in 2010). n 1985, Zekatel installed a cable network in Zeeland. Zekatel will later be merged into DELTA Retail of DELTA NV. This company was sold to the Swedish investment company EQT in 2017. An important step in the formation of DELTA Fiber is that in 2018 EQT merges the providers Caiway and DELTA Retail into one holding company. From then on, the networks will come together under the name DELTA Fiber Nederland BV. DELTA and Caiway will continue to exist as telecom providers and offer their services via DELTA Network. Since 2022, the American investment company Stonepeak has also had an interest in DELTA Fiber.
The demand for faster connections is only increasing worldwide. DELTA wants to meet this need for the Dutch market. The company is accelerating the installation of the latest generation of fiber optic connections. It is thus preparing its network for speeds of up to 10 Gbps (XGS-PON; 10 Gigabit Symmetrical – Passive Optical Network). In this acceleration, a number of process steps are essential: identifying, categorizing and prioritizing where processes can be improved, making agreements with suppliers and recording those agreements in contracts. Project manager Emile Baltussen does everything he can to get this done on time with a can-do mentality.
On time. The accelerated rollout of fast fiber optic is a major, but temporary operation. Emile: “By 2025, two million households and companies should have access to a fast connection. If you have an optimization task and you want to see where processes can be improved, improvements that come too late are of no use. They are then no longer effective. So yes, there is time pressure on this project. And while the competition is not standing still and the market is only becoming more dynamic. A few years ago, a municipality asked DELTA if the company wanted to come and discuss the rollout of fiber optic in that municipality. Now we are often in competition with several parties for the favor of the town hall.”
Emile has to deal with various stakeholders. To name a few: the companies that conduct soil research, supply supporting applications, supply materials and the contractors who take care of the construction. In addition, the fiber optic and financial markets are changing rapidly and material prices are rising. The project requires great flexibility. Based on developments in the market, DELTA must be able to switch quickly. Emile: “All in all, a very dynamic process. My tasks include developing improvements, conducting negotiations and recording these agreements in very detailed contracts.”
Grip on complexity
With a market share of around 20 percent in fiber optic networks, DELTA is an important customer for dozens of contractors and suppliers. In the optimization and acceleration task, Emile talks to them about improving processes. “These are challenging negotiations. They need DELTA, a major customer. And DELTA expects them to participate in the optimization and acceleration task. In order to get a grip on the complexity, it is important that I have a lot of experience in the IT and telecom sector and more broadly in industry, and that I have previously done similar projects for other large organizations.”
Connect and inspire
As a cooperative colleague, Emile knows how to connect and, if possible, inspire his colleagues and team members. “In the delusion of acceleration, it is also very important to pay sufficient attention to your team members. To show interest also in non-work related matters. Compliments are free. Laughing together and celebrating the results only makes teamwork better. But it is also important to create connections with the stakeholders. This can be done by strictly separating the personal and business aspects. By being hard on the content and soft on the person. But don’t be afraid to push back when you are challenged.”