Open Fiber CEO Mario Rossetti (pictured) reportedly indicated a deal to create a single fixed network operator in Italy by combining the state-backed provider’s assets with those of Telecom Italia could be reached later this year provided all parties play ball.
Reuters reported Rossetti told local media the conditions to seal a deal by end-October are right. Telecom Italia last month signed a preliminary agreement on the matter with state lender CDP, which owns 60 per cent of Open Fiber.
Telecom Italia CEO Pietro Labriola previously told the news agency the creation of a single fibre network could be completed in between 12 months and 18 months.
Labriola intends to reveal more details on the plan to separate the Italian operator into two units at its capital market day on 7 July.
Italy’s Innovation Minister Vittorio Colao has also told Reuters the success of the plan to create a national wholesale network will depend on the “goodwill of foreign investors”, including Telecom Italia shareholder Vivendi, KKR and Australia-headquartered Macquarie Asset Management.
Rossetti further indicated the talks on a single network project are not affecting Open Fiber’s own standalone business plan, including an aim to connect almost half of Italy’s 31 million households with fibre by the end of this year.
He cited labour shortages as the main obstacle to deployment targets, noting Open Fiber needs about 8,000 workers over the next two years.
In December 2021, the wholesale provider outlined a plan to invest an additional €11 billion to increase coverage to around 24 million households by 2031.
Last month, Telecom Italia signed a commercial agreement to share its network infrastructure with Open Fiber to accelerate rollout of fibre into remote areas of Italy.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back