Italy’s innovation minister and former Vodafone Group chief Vittorio Colao (pictured) waded into the thorny subject of the country’s fibre rollout, Reuters reported, urging a resolution of long-standing issues hampering progress.

In a speech to the country’s parliament Colao, who took his role with the government last month, warned there was a need to “unblock the stalemate” on a project intended to increase fibre rollout and meet a target of nationwide coverage by 2026.

The strategy, driven by Italy’s previous administration, had been to force the creation of a single national broadband provider using assets held by Telecom Italia’s fixed division and rival Open Fiber.

After several conflicting demands from politicians and Telecom Italia on the implications and ownership make-up of a national provider, a preliminary agreement was eventually reached in September 2020.

Although the letter of intent was signed, progress has since stalled and it is yet to be finalised, with a change of Prime Minister taking place in the meantime.

The new government is currently in the process of reassessing the project.

In addition to mulling the viability of the single network proposal, authorities are reportedly looking into alternative options to improve connectivity including use of 5G.