Telecom Italia CEO Franco Bernabe has confirmed that the incumbent fixed line provider has no intention of participating in the government’s shared national fibre-optic broadband network. Further, Bernabe has warned that such an imposition would contravene the Italian constitution, which guarantees companies the freedom of measures aimed at profitability. Italy’s telecoms regulator AGCOM has repeatedly urged operators to work together to develop the network, warning that a failure to do so would be costly for the country’s economic growth. Bernabe once again dismissed calls to join the project, and said Telecom Italia will push ahead with its own plans to offer 100Mbps broadband to 50% of the Italian population by 2018, pledging to invest EUR9 billion (USD12.5 billion) in its network infrastructure by 2012. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, broadband household penetration in Italy languishes at 53.5%, giving it one of the smallest penetration figures in Western Europe.