Advanced Television

Italian fibrenets want copper switch off

May 28, 2010

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

Italian alternative network providers Fastweb, Vodafone Italia and Wind have asked the country's regulator Agcom to introduce an obligatory switch-off, from copper to fibre, based on ASO.

According to the managing director of Wind, Luigi Gubitosi, the companies “need fast decisions on a clear framework in which to operate”. Their E2.5 billion fibre plan foresees the cabling of 15 cities, would include Telecom Italia contributing with one third of the investment, and the Italian bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, which would provide another third.

Besides forced migration from copper to fibre, the three rivals of Telecom Italia also propose that the network is built point-to-point and that there is a requirement for access to conduits and that the cost of unbundling is calculated based on the “historical” and not the “updated” cost. In terms of tariffs, they highlighted the need to encourage fibre and not copper. Switch-off could be done without waiting for the entire conversion to fibre that would require 5 years from the time it starts.

For his part, the president of AgCom, Corrado Calabrò, has welcomed the initiative, underlining that the Communications Authority is ready to do its part, by providing clear and precise rules, with the goal of encouraging investment in NGN and ensuring competition between operators.

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