Telecom Italia rolls out 100 Mbps FTTH services in Catania

At 53.5 percent, Italy has Europe's lowest residential broadband penetration rate, but Telecom Italia (NYSE: TI) hopes it can change that number with its upcoming 100 Mbps Fiber to the Home (FTTH) service.

The first community to get TI's new FTTH network service is Catania, Sicily's second largest city and Italy's tenth largest city. In this initial deployment, the service provider will connect about 34,000 residences in Catania's Borgo and Ognina districts to its FTTH network by the end of 2011, scaling to 46,000 by the end of 2012 and 63,000 by 2013.

However, the telco won't offer the 100 Mbps service until it conducts trials and gets the blessing of Italy's telecom regulator Agcom.

This initial deployment in Catania is part of a $12.5 billion program to upgrade Telecom Italia's last mile network with the goal of bringing FTTH service to six Italian cities, including Milan and Rome, with Bari, Turin and Venice by the end of 2010. By the end of 2012, TI plans to have 13 cities connected to its FTTH network and ultimately 138 cities, or 50 percent of the population, by 2018.

TI's 100 Mbps drive comes after the telco could not come to terms with a group of Italian competitive service providers that wanted to build an open access FTTH network.

For more:
- TeleGeography has this article

Related articles:
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Regulator encourages Telecom Italia to help with open access fiber network
Telecom Italia says 'absolute no' to shared fiber network
Fastweb, Vodafone, Wind to build open access network
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