Enel creates global fibre-optic broadband unit
13 September 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe
Italian utility giant Enel has announced the creation of a new global business unit, Global Fiber Optic Infrastructures, to develop ultra-broadband and expand into foreign broadband markets.
Enel is seeking to replicate its domestic Enel Open Fiber (EOF) business model and the new global unit will be headed by Stefano Lorenzi, who had been CEO of Sirti since February 2011. Lorenzi, who earlier in his career held several senior executive positions at Alcatel-Lucent, is tasked with devising strategies and implementing business models for the group’s global development of fibre-optic infrastructure.
“In the wake of the positive experience in Italy of Enel Open Fiber, the company devoted to the development of ultra-broadband headed by CEO Tommaso Pompei, as already announced Enel has created a new business unit operating at global level within the Group’s business line global infrastructure and networks,” an Enel statement said.
“The new unit will be in charge of managing this new strategic area of the Group in Italy and abroad.”
The news comes after Enel, which earlier in the year announced it would invest €2.5 billion in a broadband rollout in Italy, signed a wholesale partnership with Tiscali enabling it to access its EOF fibre network, and agreed to a €53 million project to install a wholesale fibre-to-the-home network throughout Venice.
Enel said that an investment agreement with Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) is expected to be signed today. CDP, which holds 46% of Metroweb and is said to have backed Enel’s €806 million bid for the fibre carrier, will set the rules of governance, the exit strategy and the turnover in the appointment of CEOs (currently by Enel) and of the chairman of the combined company.