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Italian broadband operator Fastweb is allocating an additional €500 million to expand its optical fibre network to 13 million households (50 per cent of the population) in 500 cities by 2020.
This represents an upgrade of the previous plan, according to which Fastweb will have 7.5 million households reached by fibre by the end of 2016, accounting for 30 per cent of the Italian population.
The project will be done on two levels. On one hand, the download speed will be doubled from 100 to 200 Mbps in the 100 mid and large-sized cities that are already connected. The upgrade will start with Arezzo, Viterbo, Riccione, Rimini, Trento, Massa, Pistoia and Caserta, to be followed by other cities, with work due to be completed by the first quarter of 2018.
At the same time, construction work will be done to connect new cities and towns of up to 100,000 inhabitants by 2020. In both cases, the network architecture used will be FTTC, with EVDSL technology that enables speeds of up to 200 Mbps.
According to Fastweb CEO, Alberto Calcagno, the FTTC technology may evolve over time to FTTH.
Fastweb claims to be the broadband market leader with 650,000 customers, accounting for nearly half of the market.