Italy: FTTH reaches 348,000 subscriber mark

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Italy continues to make progress with Fiber to the Home (FTTH), reaching over 2.5 million homes passed and 348,000 subscribers as of the end of December 2010.

Although preliminary data released by the FTTH Council Europe complied in conjunction with IDATE Consulting & Research revealed that the total number of FTTH subscribers in Italy amount to only 13.7 percent of the total households passed, the groups believe that the subscriber number will increase if the planned ‘Fibre for Italy' project gets off the ground.

The "Fibre for Italy" project, a joint effort between Fastweb, Vodafone and Wind, plans to extend its FTTH network to 20 million potential subscribers in the country's 15 largest cities by 2015. This project has been mired in controversy. Feeling that the Italian government was favoring Telecom Italia, these providers initially decided to withdraw their EUR 2.5 billion ($3.4 billion) open access network proposal from the NGN committee.

Not to be outdone, Telecom Italia (NYSE: TI), which refused to take part in the competitive trio's FTTH plans, set an even more ambitious plan to bring FTTH/B to 138 cities by 2018. Finally, a group of Italian-based service providers including Telecom Italia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) targeting other areas in Italy where no service provider has developed plans to bring FTTH to yet.

Overall, each of these projects would help to boost Italy's broadband market, which has traditionally trailed other European countries in terms of overall penetration.

For more:
- Telecompaper has this article

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