TIM and Swisscom unit defend Italian FTTH joint venture

TIM and Swisscom unit defend Italian FTTH joint venture

TIM and Swisscom’s Italian subsidiary Fastweb have both defended their joint fibre investment strategy in Italy in the face of an announcement by the country’s competition authority that it is investigating the €1.2 billion project.

AGCM, the markets and competition authority, said yesterday that it was opening an investigation into Flash Fiber, a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) project announced in July 2016.

TIM, which will own 80% of the project, said: “TIM confirms that it has behaved correctly and the industrial project is valid.” Fastweb, which owns the other 20%, said that “the company is convinced of the correctness of its actions and of the validity of the Flash Fiber industrial project.”

The partnership, covering 29 cities in Italy, is designed to extend fibre from the cabinet into customers’ homes between last year and 2020.

AGCM said it had sent in the Guardia di Finanza – the finance police – to acquire “elements needed for the investigation”, according to Reuters. The joint venture “could reduce the intensity of competition” in the broadband and ultrafast broadband sectors, the statement said, according to the agency.

Fastweb said that the project is connecting 20,000 homes a week “in line with industry forecasts and in line with the government plans for infrastructure in the country”. TIM added that Flash Fiber enables the acceleration of the construction of national FTTH services, “in line with the objectives of the national ultra-broadband strategy, increasing competition and bringing about benefits for consumers”.

TIM said it “will assure the Authority maximum collaboration and transparency during the proceedings”. Fastweb said it “renews its confidence in AGCM and will continue to work constructively with the Authority”.

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