Italian operators Fastweb and Telecom Italia have entered into a strategic partnership to build an FTTH network with connection speeds of at least 1 Gbps.
A joint venture will be set up, in which Telecom Italia will have 80 per cent and Fastweb the remaining 20 per cent. The JV will carry out civil works and lay fibre, while the excavation costs will be shared by the two companies. Both Telecom Italia and Fastweb will provide ultra-broadband access services on a wholesale basis.
The JV 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 own cash flow.
The goal is to connect 3 million units in 29 major Italian cities already covered by FTTC until 2020 for a total investment of €1.2 billion, financed part in equity and part in debt.
As a result of this agreement, the number of residential and business premises covered by Fastweb’s FTTH network will increase from the current 2 million to 5 million by 2020 (20 per cent of the Italian population).
Fastweb’s plan to extend ultra broadband coverage to 50 per cent of the population by 2020 is confirmed. However, the mix will change: the FTTC footprint will increase from 5.5 million at the end of 2016 to 8 million (instead of the originally planned 11 million), while FTTH coverage will rise from 2 million to 5 million (instead of remaining stable).
In addition, Telecom Italia will acquire from Fastweb over the next 18 months the infrastructures with FTTH technology, enabling it to connect around 650,000 housing units in 6 cities, one year earlier than planned.
The two partners may also extend the partnership to other areas, such as the joint development of passive infrastructure and ultra-wideband technologies.
Also in Italy, Enel Open Fiber, part of local energy utility Enel, has signed an agreement with wireless internet provider Go Internet for the provision of FTTH ultrabroadband connections with speeds of up to 1 Mbps in the cities included in the EOF strategic plan. The plan has already kicked off in Perugia, where Go Internet has activated the first customers, as part of a pilot project.