Telecom Italia to begin Metroweb talks

19 October 2015 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


A joint venture to build fibre-to-the-home networks across Italy has come closer after Telecom Italia’s board accepted a proposal from rival operator Metroweb to take part in talks.

The company’s board says that it is to resume contacts with the two shareholders in Metroweb about sharing a plan to invest in FTTH.

State-holding Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and infrastructure fund FSI — which own Metroweb — were reported to have approached Telecom Italia chairman Giuseppe Recchi in early October. Now Recchi has confirmed, at a board meeting on Friday, that the company will discuss the proposal with Metroweb’s owners and regulators.

Telecom Italia — which has rebranded its consumer operation to TIM — said that it plans to invest over €3 billion a year in FTTH and fibre-to-the-building in 100 towns and cities. The company already has ultra-broadband coverage in 282 towns and cities, it added.

The board said it would "analyse in greater depth the studies testing the economic sustainability of any collaboration between the two companies aimed at exploring the feasibility of a further acceleration of the Telecom Italia plan, starting contacts with the counterparties and with the competent authorities".