Tiscali to participate in Italian open access network

Tiscali SpA has decided to join fellow competitive providers Vodafone Group, Fastweb SpA (FWB.MI) and Wind SpA to build out a $2.9 billion open access last mile network in Italy. Tiscali did not reveal how much it would invest in the network, however.

To rake in more funding for the network buildout, the consortium asked the Italian government for permission to allow not only service providers but also public companies to invest in the network. Initially targeting 15 large Italian cities with the goal of providing alternative broadband access services, the consortium said the network investment could be expanded from $2.9 billion to $10.1 billion to serve about 50 percent of the country's population.

Of course, the question is where does Italy's incumbent carrier Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI) stand in all of this? While Telecom Italia previously rejected being part of what it calls a "condominium-style network." network, it is proceeding with its own $8.38 billion broadband network upgrade.

For more:
- Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones has this article (sub. req.)

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