New fibre net for Italy

Vodafone, Wind and Swisscom's Fastweb are collaborating to build a rival Italian broadband network to Telecom Italia's

The three Italian operators are preparing to launch a E2.5 billion broadband network plan. Under the five-year plan, the telcos are aiming to replace the traditional copper network by building a superfast broadband network in 15 cities. The move is likely to put pressure on Italy's former fixed-line phone monopoly, Telecom Italia, in which Telefónica is a significant shareholder.

The companies are planning to co-invest in an optical fibre network and are seeking other network investors. The project will be open to all the other operators, including Telecom Italia, which is due to spend E700 million by the end of 2012 on fibre infrastructure in 13 cities.

Italian telecoms regulator, Agcom, has backed the creation of a new company, based on a consortium of operators and private and public investors.

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