Fastweb and Telecom Italia to build wholesale FTTH network

27 July 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


Italian operators to spend €1.2bn on FTTH network that will be available to other partners

Telecom Italia and Swisscom’s Italian operation Fastweb are to work together to build a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in 29 cities of Italy.

Both operators will provide ultra-broadband access services on a wholesale basis, significantly increasing the level of competition in the market.

The new partnership, which will be owned 80% by Telecom Italia and 20% by Fastweb, will extend the existing fibre-to-the-cabinet network in those cities through to customers’ homes. They will spend €1.2 billion on the project between now and 2020.

“Thanks to this agreement Fastweb further confirms its commitment to develop its infrastructure in the country through an industrial project in which we are protagonists,” said Fastweb CEO Alberto Calcagno. “Our position of leadership in the ultra-broadband market will be enhanced, thanks to the quality and speed of the new network we will provide to our customers.”

According to Reuters, quoting Telecom Italia CEO Flavio Cattaneo, the joint venture will be open to other partners.

The joint venture will carry out civil works and install fibre from street cabinets to three million customer premises on behalf of the two companies, allowing them to share excavation costs.

The joint venture will be financed by debt and equity. The direct exposure of Fastweb will be limited to about €55 million over the next four years, self-financed with its own cash flow.

Thanks to this agreement, the number of residential and business premises covered by Fastweb FTTH network will increase from current two million to five million by 2020 – 20% of the Italian population.

Fastweb says it plans to extend ultra-broadband coverage to 50% of the population by 2020 is confirmed, with eight million being connected using fibre to the cabinet and a total of five million having FTTH.