Telecom Italia (TIM) and Open Fiber have crossed swords amid ongoing talks about them joining forces to create a single fibre network for Italy.
According to a report by Reuters, TIM’s CEO, Luigi Gubitosi, backed the single network plan which the Italian government is pushing for, saying during a conference speech that Open Fiber is proceeding too slowly and building “fibre to nowhere”.
The latter comment was sparked by a recent parliamentary hearing which he said suggested that Open Fiber was laying its fibre an average of 17 metres from homes.
Open Fiber rejected his comments, noting it has delivered fibre to 8 million customers, including 2 million in areas which have previously been neglected due to being economically ‘non viable’. The company, which launched three years ago, said a single network approach is “neither favoured by other players nor consistent with competition principles.”
Open Fiber is co-owned by the Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and utility group Enel, and sells wholesale capacity to telcos. The company has won all three contracts to roll out fibre in economically ‘non-viable’ areas in Italy.