Telecom Italia fleshed-out its plans for fixed broadband spin-off FiberCop, alongside unveiling a preliminary deal with state-owned CDP Equity to merge the new entity with rival Open Fiber to create a single national operator.

In a series of statements, Telecom Italia announced full details of forthcoming fixed spin-off FiberCop; announced the sale of a 37.5 per cent stake in the new business to KKR Infrastructure for €1.8 billion; and inked the preliminary national fibre network agreement.

FibreCop will house Telecom Italia’s secondary fixed network, from cabinets to customer’s homes, and network deployed by FlashFiber, its joint venture with Fastweb.

Fastweb will own 4.5 per cent of the new entity with Telecom Italia owning 58 per cent.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

National network
The creation of the standalone fibre company opens the way for its network to be merged with rival Open Fiber and meet the Italian government’s long-held ambition of creating a single national broadband network. Authorities believe the ultimate project will accelerate network deployment.

In addition to announcing details of FibreCop, Telecom Italia said it had signed a letter of intent alongside state-owned investment company CDP Equity to merge the new entity into the national project currently called AccessCo.

One of the apparent sticking-points for the state’s project had been the question of majority ownership, though this looks to have been addressed with Telecom Italia allowed to hold a stake of at least 50.1 per cent. The venture, however, will be jointly controlled by the operator and CDP Equity.

The agreement is a first phase towards the project with a third party set to value assets held by Open Fiber and FiberCop as part of the due diligence process. The proposed merger must also go through regulatory bodies and is expected to be completed by the end of Q1 2021.