A report in the Financial Times says that three Italian telecoms companies are close to announcing a EUR2.5 billion (USD3.22 billion) plan to build a superfast broadband network in 15 cities. The trio – Vodafone’s Italian unit, mobile operator Wind and Swiss-owned broadband provider Fastweb – have agreed they should co-invest in a fibre-optic network that could reach millions of homes over the next five years. They are believed to be looking for other network investors, and do not exclude the possibility that Telecom Italia could participate.
Telecom Italia is the most heavily indebted of Europe’s former fixed line phone monopolies, and it has a limited investment plan in fibre-based broadband infrastructure. It is due to spend EUR700 million by the end of 2012 on fibre infrastructure that will reach 1.3 million buildings in 13 cities.