Advanced Television

Italy could opt for fibre optic grid

July 8, 2009

Italy should set up a company to handle the move to a fibre optic network which would be supported with private and public funds, the head of the telecoms authority has.

Corrado Calabro said the proposed company should be modelled on the way existing utilities operate networks and the authority could set tariffs adequate for investment needs.

Former monopoly Telecom Italia is investing in the move to fibre optic from copper wire based on demand and clients’ willingness to pay for it.

“The practical route seems to be a company formed around a strong nucleus of industrial partners with a mix of business expertise to develop the fibre optic project,” Calabro said. “We will evaluate with the operators (rules) which while guaranteeing competition would most encourage and adequately compensate investments in fibre optic,” he added.

Some lawmakers have proposed splitting off Telecom Italia’s fixed-line network to spur Italy’s broadband ambitions, an option that Telecom Italia is resisting.

A report by a government adviser has suggested one option could be creating an integrated fibre-optic and copper national network for broadband coverage of 50 per cent of households. The report said this would involve investment of 10 billion euros over five years. Creating a fibre-optic network to cover 25 percent of households could involve E5.4 billion of investment over four years.


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