Telecom Italia (TIM) has backed a government plan to set up a single high-speed broadband network company with rival Open Fiber. It has sold a 37.5 per cent stake in its last-mile fixed network to US investment fund KKR Infrastructure for €1.8 billion.
The deal is expected to be the launch pad for the government’s plan to merge FiberCop with Open Fiber to create a single network operator.
TIM confirmed it would hold 58 per cent of FiberCop, KKR Infrastructure 37.5 per cent and Fastweb 4.5 per cent thanks to the latter’s holding in the Flash Fiber joint venture that will be folded into FiberCop. Tiscali is also on board as a strategic partner after signing an MoU with TIM last week. The former incumbent will be the exclusive supplier for the construction and maintenance of the networks and will provide additional services to FiberCop, which will have a streamlined structure with less than 100 employees. According to TIM, the fibre network rolled out by FiberCop will be developed on the basis of a co-investment model open to all other operators.
TIM said the FiberCop operation would speed up the migration of customers from copper to fibre as well as helping to reduce the digital divide in Italy.