Fastweb to invest €400 million in fibre

Italian provider Fastweb plans to invest €400 million in fibre up to 2016 in order to expand its infrastructure and increase competitiveness.

Parent company Swisscom’s board granted approval for the first phase of the investment, amounting to €130 million in a Fibre To The Street (FTTS) expansion by the end of 2013.

FTTS technology allows fibre-optic cables to run closer to homes, while making more efficient use of existing copper cables, enabling bandwidth speeds of 100Mbps to be achieved.

Much like its parent company, Fastweb is engaged in the FTTS roll-out to complement its FTTH network. By 2016 Fastweb aims to provide 20% of Italian homes with FTTS.

Swisscom said that the investment “makes sense” as it will help boost growth at Fastweb, which commands higher market share and margins in locations where it operates its own infrastructure.

The Swiss carrier highlighted that Fastweb’s modern network was the key USP behind growth in residential and business customers. The company recorded a 5% growth in residential customers in the first half of 2012, despite difficult market conditions.

Fastweb is now in a clear second place in Italy’s broadband market with 21% market share and is closing the gap between it and Telecom Italia, according to Swisscom.

Swisscom said that the additional investment would not affect its dividend payout policy or the €1.8 billion of investment scheduled for this year. The company is investing approximately €1.48 billion in expanding its Swiss infrastructure in 2012 and plans to invest a similar amount in the country over the next few years.

Earlier this week Swisscom announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire a 75% stake in Telecom Liechtenstein and planned integrate the operator into its Swiss business.

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