Italian telecoms regulator Autorita per le Garanzie Comunicazioni (Agcom) has confirmed that it has conditionally approved Telecom Italia’s (TI) plan to offer high-speed broadband at 100Mbps, paving the way for the commercial launch of the long-delayed service. However, Agcom has specified that TI can only offer the service in six cities where its competitors already offer similar services, to ensure a level playing field across the broadband market. Further, the regulator has demanded that TI must not sign up more than 40,000 clients during 2011 to help prevent market dominance. Finally, Telecom Italia is obliged to wholesale the service to its competitors at 12% less than the retail price offered.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, TI is in the midst of a large-scale EUR9 billion (USD12.5 billion) overhaul of its existing infrastructure. The Italian operator planned to make fibre-optic broadband available in six Italian cities by the end of 2010, and 13 cities by 2012, eventually reaching 50% of the population (138 cities) by 2018. The rollout commenced in Catania in November 2010 and was expected to be followed by deployments in Milan, Rome, Bari, Turin and Venice before the end of 2010.