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19 June 2017
| James Pearce
Telecom Italia (TIM) will continue with plans to roll out ultrafast broadband services in rural areas of Italy despite protests from the government, according to reports.
The Italian government has made deployment of fast internet
a priority, drafting in state-owned utility Enel last year
amidst claims that TIM was delaying its deployment.
Speaking to La Repubblica newspaper, group CEO Flavio
Cattaneo said TIM will go ahead with its own deployment
"Our investments have already started, we flagged them well
in time and according to the law... we will press ahead," said
TIM had originally taken partn in a Rome tender which will
see subsidies given to operators deploying fibre in rural
areas, but later withdrew, saying it would invest its own
A cabinet minister said the government will seek damages
from TIM, as it had originally said it would not invest in
rural areas, according to daily Corriere della Sera.
Cattaneo dismissed this, adding: "The government's attack is
worthy of a 'dirigiste' state. We are a private company and in
Italy companies are free to do business."
It comes as French media company Vivendi has begun to take
control of Telecom Italia. Vivendi holds a 24% stake in the
Italian incumbent, but also has a 28.8% shareholding in
Vivendi agreed to sell a stake in media services company
Persidera to appease European regulators, but it still faces a
challenge gaining approval from Italian regulato Agcom, which
has told the French firm to pick between Mediaset and Telecom
Italia this month.