A city connected for better service

Published on 19/02/2014 in Customer Stories

A city connected for better service

Virtually all local administrations and many of their service providers are already connected to PubliLink, the highly secure, professional and reliable network that is permanently monitored and managed by Belgacom. But Philippeville wanted to go even further, by offering free Wi-Fi to all visitors to city hall. A way to meet the needs of increasingly mobile citizens.


PubliLink is designed to offer a completely closed, private network to connect members such as public administrations, Belfius Bank and other service providers. The key elements of this network are: the extremely high, constantly updated security; permanent monitoring: integration of the latest network technologies; guaranteed superior performance for all administrations and services; SLAs and guaranteed rapid intervention. In the event of a problem, there’s an easily accessible helpdesk for all members.

On this solid basis, Belgacom developed a new Wi-Fi functionality and was looking for a way to test it. The Municipal Executive of Philippeville saw it as an opportunity to provide a free, secure service to visitors to city hall. “Our fellow citizens are living in a world that is increasingly connected and mobile, whether for personal or professional purposes. So we thought it would be useful to bring the municipal administration into line with this trend,” explains deputy mayor Bruno Berlemont, whose responsibilities include public works and information technology.


Perfect integration and total security

In practical terms, the Wi-Fi antennae are connected to the existing PubliLink Explore network. “We’re making use of the existing infrastructure, which certainly speeds up deployment and optimizes the investment,” adds the public servant, who is delighted with the perfect integration of the two networks.

The Wi-Fi antennae are installed at strategic locations within city hall and are connected to the PubliLink Explore routers, however their traffic is kept apart from the existing traffic thanks to a separate V-LAN. The hermetic separation between the visitor V-LAN (guest access) and the administration’s intranet V-LAN is therefore absolutely guaranteed. To Mr. Berlemont, “This dissociation between the two networks was very important. Jeopardizing the work of the administration for the sake of offering an additional service to the public would have been out of the question. Obviously we need to maintain the efficiency of the public services, on one hand, and the security of the data we handle each day, on the other.”

This six-month live test, launched in November 2013 with the installation of the Wi-Fi antennas, has been made possible thanks to “the flawless technical collaboration between Belgacom and the municipal services, ” adds Mr. Berlemont.


City Profile

Situated between Fagne and Condroz, at the heart of the Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse region, Philippeville is one of the three district capitals in the province of Namur. This city with over 9,000 inhabitants is, in fact, made up of 17 villages that were administratively merged. It’s origins date back to a fortress built in 1554 by Charles V, who named it after his son, the future Philippe II of Spain. The Philippeville region was once renowned for its red marble quarries.


Business benefits
  • Promoting technology in the city
  • A way to better meet the needs of increasingly connected and mobile citizens
  • Fully separating Wi-Fi traffic from the PubliLink network means absolutely no risk of disrupting municipal services
  • Reuse and extension of the existing infrastructure
  • Belgacom supports the development of Smart Cities


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