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Open Fiber and Fastweb sign reciprocal wholesale network agreement

News

Broadband provider Fastweb will gain access to fibre in 80 cities across Italy and areas covered through state subsidies.

The deal will also cover designated ‘white areas’ that have little or no broadband services, but where Open Fiber is in deploying infrastructure, paid for state subsidies.

In return, Open Fiber will have wholesale access to Fastweb’s fibre infrastructure to extend its coverage.

Fastweb is owned by and is deploying fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) and fixed-wireless access (FWA) networks to cities across Italy.

Open Fiber is jointly controlled by state lender CDP and Europe’s biggest utility, Enel. It already uses Fastweb’s infrastructure for FTTH connections in Milan.

Key strategy

“This [latest] agreement represents a key plank in our strategy,” Alberto Calcagno, CEO, Fastweb, told Reuters.

Telecom Italia and Open Fiber are building rival fast broadband networks which has been much criticised for duplicating effort and cost.

With an almost 10% holding, CDP is the second-largest shareholder of Telecom Italia.

There has been speculation that regulatory changes in Italy could pave the way to a merger of Open Fiber and Telecom Italia.