1. Secure & Seamless Connectivity

Reliable and future-proof networks

People increasingly spend more time using fixed and mobile digital connections to work, relax and keep in touch. Meanwhile, our homes and offices are increasingly equipped with smart devices. All this means that demand for secure, reliable and stable connections keeps on growing – and at VodafoneZiggo, we fulfil this demand by continuously improving and investing in our network infrastructure, driven by our commitment to enabling an exceptional experience.


In 2023, continuing the trend from previous years, data consumption in both our mobile and fixed networks increased by around 30%. This growth is being driven by the combination of our customers’ ever-more intensive internet use, the high rates of home and hybrid working, the increasing number of devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the rise in the quantity and quality of online video calls and content. Demand peaked at 12.1 Tbps during the Mexico Grand Prix in October; another record for VodafoneZiggo.

To meet the demand for greater capacity, security and coverage, we invest significantly in continuously upgrading our networks and our SmartWifi solutions. Our goal is always to deliver an exceptional customer experience and enable Progress for Everyone, thanks to our high-quality connections and unmatched products and services – supporting customers whether they are at work or leisure.


In our fixed and mobile networks, 2023 marked the end of a three-year programme to enhance the stability of our infrastructure. Focusing on five key topics (network architecture, IT, operations, B2B services and culture), this project has resulted in 50% fewer outages in our mobile and fixed network versus 2020 and 30% less time needed to fix outages that do occur. We also recorded a near 80% reduction in the number of change-related incidents – caused during planned updates to our systems – in 2023 compared to 2020. We are now transferring our new knowledge and solutions to the relevant teams across our organisation.


While 97% of our fixed internet signal is transmitted via fibre optic cables, we use coaxial cables in the so-called last mile of our connections. We completed our move to DOCSIS 3.1 in 2023. Importantly for our customers and the environment, this means we can provide download speeds of 1 Gbps – around ten times more than is required by the average household – without inconveniencing residents or burdening the environment by digging up the street outside people’s front doors. For more information on how we are making our network more sustainable, see Environmentally friendly working (new window).

The availability of our fixed network improved again in 2023, reaching 99.98% (2022: 99.97%). We will make further capacity upgrades in 2024, with an eye on eventually transitioning to DOCSIS 4.0 technology.


Turning to our mobile solutions, we took an important step forward on network slicing for Vodafone’s business customers in 2023. Thanks to 5G technology, we can now reserve a slice of our mobile network for specific customers, guaranteeing a high quality of service. This paves the way for guaranteed quality of service via network slicing for consumers, an offering that will become indispensable once augmented reality and virtual reality gain a secure foothold in the gaming market. In the meantime, the availability of our mobile network was 99.79% in 2023, in line with the previous year.


In 2023, we started the project to improve our mobile network coverage at and around train stations and railways in the Netherlands. This three-year project will ensure our customers can stay connected even in peak times.

In particular, we aim to build new transmission masts and install additional antennae at existing locations, as well as further optimising our network settings and boosting coverage in tunnels. Altogether, these improvements mean our antennae along some 69 different railway routes will work better and more quickly together, contributing to a more positive travel experience for customers on the go.


With the global risk of cyberattacks rising and the number of specific threats to our network increasing, we continued to make ongoing improvements to the protection of our processes and systems in 2023, including by closely monitoring our Cybersecurity Baseline (see Data security and privacy for customers and employees (new window)). We also engaged with our partners and vendors on a range of cybersecurity issues and solutions. At VodafoneZiggo, we recognise that we are only as strong as the weakest link in our value chain, and we take seriously our duty to work with our ecosystem to protect not only our customers and our business but also wider society.


In 2023, we began using artificial intelligence (AI) to carry out predictive maintenance on the VodafoneZiggo network. By gathering a large pool of data from customers’ set-top boxes and modems and from our network itself, we can better understand how our infrastructure is performing, more efficiently predict maintenance needs and anticipate any outages. In turn, this enables us to solve any issues before they can have an impact, helping us provide an exceptional customer experience without our customers even realising.


At VodafoneZiggo, we are embracing the advantages of automation where we believe it can support our operations – whether by increasing simplicity and efficiency or by reducing opportunities for human error. In 2023, our main automation activities revolved around our Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) programme, aimed at helping our colleagues respond more quickly to the needs of business customers.

Among other things, NaaS enables e-care solutions that allow customers to personalise their network environment through a portal, with no need for an engineer visit. It also supports better life-cycle management, rolling out automatic updates that ensure customers’ software and services are seamless, reliable and efficient.


Over the coming years, we are determined to maintain our position as a leading network provider in the Netherlands, which is itself home to one of the best national networks in the world. More importantly, we aim to keep delivering what customers really need: secure and seamless connectivity, everywhere, at all times.

For example, as people add more WiFi-enabled devices to their homes, we will increase training for our engineers and contact-centre teams so they can better support customers who run into connection difficulties in their in-home IoT environment. We have also identified eight key focus areas that will drive our mobile network improvements in 2024 and beyond.

Data security and privacy for customers and employees

As a telecom company, we are responsible for handling and protecting the personal data of millions of customers, as well as of our own employees. We use this information to power progress and create connections – but if data is not properly managed, these connections can amplify potential negative impacts. At VodafoneZiggo, data security and privacy are a top priority.


The immense opportunities of digitalisation are balanced by the risks that come with greater connectivity and access to people’s data. In 2023, we continued to take the utmost care to limit these risks and put in place mitigating measures for the protection of our customers, employees and business. At all times, we keep a close eye on the digital landscape around us – for example, monitoring the rise of AI and its potential impacts on privacy and security – as well as preparing to comply with upcoming European legislation, such as the AI Act and the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD).


The specialists in our central Privacy Office are supported by the privacy champions integrated within different areas of our organisation. Meanwhile, all new joiners receive privacy and security training during their onboarding process. Our business units are also encouraged to carry out ‘privacy quick scans’ on new initiatives, to identify potential privacy impacts and decide whether a more in-depth assessment is needed. If so, VodafoneZiggo’s Privacy Office and Legal team step in to carry out a thorough review of the product or service.

Under our Security First programme, we implement measures to protect against phishing, smishing and other types of cybercrime; for instance, by blocking emails and SMS messages that fail to meet our security requirements. If anything slips through our safeguards, we isolate it from the wider network to minimise any negative impacts. We also continuously monitor the web for any threats so we can react when necessary, as well as using dual-factor authentication for customer email accounts and for our My Vodafone and Mijn Ziggo platforms.


In addition to our ongoing activities, we made important progress on new privacy and security projects in 2023. By the end of the year, we were close to finalising new organisation-wide controls in line with the Cybersecurity Baseline developed by our parent company, Vodafone Group. This internal metric helps us monitor the strength of our security controls and protocols, in line with the Dutch government’s regulation on telecom security and integrity (‘Regeling veiligheid en integriteit telecommunicatie’).

We also successfully migrated to a new data-processing programme, improving the protection of customer and employee information. Moreover, the security updates we made to our many website domains earned us a 100% rating – a national first – from Internet.nl, which continuously monitors our performance.

Meanwhile, we set up a multidisciplinary AI Taskforce to monitor our use and development of AI technologies, including large language models and generative AI. From data privacy and information security to energy consumption and intellectual property, the full implications of these emerging tools are still becoming clear – which is why VodafoneZiggo is committed to building a robust governance process that ensures we can capture the opportunities without exposing our stakeholders to unacceptable risks.


For VodafoneZiggo, cybersecurity is not just an IT issue: it is closely linked to our culture and workplace behaviour. Our goal is to create awareness of the link between ethical working practices and cyber risks; after all, we all have a role to play in protecting our network and the data we are entrusted with. As the number of external attacks rises, we aim to ensure our internal environment is as robust as possible, prepared to meet any threats.

With such a large group of employees having access to so much data, we recognise that there is a greater risk of privacy and security problems, whether inadvertent or otherwise. It is therefore up to us to train our employees on how to handle data appropriately and reduce the risk of our colleagues contributing to a cybersecurity incident. Two of our biggest focus areas in 2023 were insider threats and internal behaviours.

We also completed multiple rounds of our sophisticated phishing simulation during the year. Colleagues who clicked on a suspicious link in our test email were automatically enlisted in two further mandatory courses. Our research shows that this initiative improves people’s alertness to threats and, over time, reduces the number of clicks on our phishing bait. We also held training activities tailored to specific and organised targeted data-protection learning sessions for developers and analysts.


Our customers retain control over their data via a personal privacy dashboard, where they can request an overview of their personal data or ask for (part of) it to be deleted. In 2023, we updated VodafoneZiggo’s online privacy statement to better inform customers about how and why we process their data. We also let our customers choose whether they are happy for us to use their data to help them proactively with any connectivity problems that arise (see Seamless on all devices (new window)).

Receiving individual consent around data use in this way is crucial, but it can be difficult to demonstrate. We aim to tackle this challenge by applying metadata – such as timestamps – to all consent confirmations, meaning we can more easily refer to specific cases if a customer asks us to. Government and investigative authorities also sometimes ask us to share customer data with them. A special team evaluates all such requests, and we only comply if required to do so by law or in accordance with a court order.

Where we deem it necessary, we defend the privacy rights of our customers in court. In 2023, for instance, Ziggo was again asked by Brein to forward warning letters to customers suspected of copyright infringement. We once again took this matter to the court of appeal, aiming to protect our customers’ rights to the best of our ability.


Our digital systems and data are part of a much larger network that stretches across our industry and beyond. We work closely with our IT suppliers and other partners to ensure all tools and practices meet the highest possible security and privacy standards.

In 2023, for instance, when we launched a new Health-e service (new window) enabling customers to access medical advice via a third-party app, we took precautions to ensure we cannot access data for which we are not licensed. VodafoneZiggo also carried out a penetration test on the app: although we are not directly responsible for the app, we facilitate our customers in using it and therefore have a duty to protect them.

On a national level, we keep in regular contact with the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA). We aim to build trust by reporting data breaches, consulting Dutch DPA on key topics and providing an in-control statement. VodafoneZiggo is also part of a large group of companies and governmental authorities that conducts crisis simulation activities, testing our collective and individual preparedness to ensure business continuity and security under pressure.


In today’s digital world, and despite the advances in mitigatory measures, it is inevitable that data breaches occur from time to time. We define a data breach as a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration or unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed. In 2023, the application of ‘lessons learned’ from previous incidents led to a decline of around 30%; 36 of such incidents were reported to the Dutch DPA.

When a breach forms a high risk to the rights and freedoms of our customers, employees or other stakeholders, we inform them. In March 2023, for example, when a supplier of Blauw Research, a market-research agency used by VodafoneZiggo, suffered a breach, we notified our customers about the incident so they could take protective measures. We also informed the Dutch DPA, which has since praised our swift response as an example of best practice in such a situation.

Share this page: