FastWeb, Telecom Italia strike fiber network alliance
Telecom Italia (NYSE: TI) and competitive broadband provider FastWeb, which is owned by Switzerland's incumbent telco Swisscom, on Friday announced they are going to jointly build out a fiber network in Italy.
FastWeb's parent Swisscom said it would invest €400 million ($516.8 million) to build out a Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC) network.
The hybrid fiber/copper FTTC infrastructure will complement Telecom Italia's existing Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network, which currently passes almost two million homes in Italy's urban areas and has been a major service driver for Telecom Italia and FastWeb alike. To connect to each home and business, the service providers will leverage a copper-based VDSL2 connection that will be able, depending on the condition of the copper plant, to deliver 30 Mbps, 60-80 Mbps, and even 100 Mbps.
Although the two service providers will share construction and network costs, they said in a joint statement they will "retain total freedom and autonomy in the development of their own network platforms, technology decisions and commercial offerings."
Last February, Telecom Italia got permission from the country's regulator AgCom to commercially launch its long-awaited 100 Mbps Fiber to the Home (FTTH) offering. FastWeb, meanwhile, began offering a 100 Mbps FTTH service for residential customers and small enterprises in the cities of Milan, Rome, Genoa, Turin, Bologna, Naples and Bari.
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