Telecom Italia (NYSE: TI) now has the blessing of Italy's telecom regulator AgCom to commercially launch its long-awaited 100 Mbps Fiber to the Home (FTTH) offering, but it comes with a number of concessions to ensure a level competitive playing field.
Among the many elements to which Telecom Italia must agree as it launches its service is that it will have to limit the offering to a maximum of 40,000 subscribers in cities where competitors offer a similar FTTH service and marketed only after it offers the service as a wholesale offering to competitive carriers. And as reported in the local Italian press, Telecom Italia will be required to offer competitors at 12 percent lower than the retail price it offers its own subscribers.
TI is in the process of conducting a $12.5 billion upgrade of its existing last mile network. Part of that upgrade calls to bring FTTH-based broadband service to six Italian cities by the end of 2010 and 13 cities by 2012, with the ultimate goal of bringing the service to 50 percent of the country's population by 2018.
Initially launched in Catania in November 2010, TI set a goal to bring the FTTH service to Milan, Rome, Bari, Turin and Venice by the end of last year.
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