Telecom Italia has said that it will increase the optimum transmission speeds of its broadband internet service to 1.2 Mbps from the start of next month, allowing it to stream live Italian football matches over its broadband portal, Rosso Alice. The telco claims the improved speeds will be available to 90% of the population by the end of 2005. Telecom Italia had 4.01 million broadband customers at the end of 2004, almost double its total twelve months previously; 355,000 of these reside outside Italy. On 1 April 2005 the telco is planning to launch a new 4Mbps broadband service to compete with a similar offering from Italian provider FastWeb, which provides its service via a set-top box to Italian TV screens. Telecom Italia is planning to launch a similar high speed internet-via-TV service in the 20 largest Italian cities by the end of the year.