Telecom Italia (TI) has reportedly introduced fibre-based download speeds of 100Mbps in selected areas of Milan, Rome, Turin and Bari. According to local press reports, the service – which requires an activation fee of EUR121 (USD164.3) – is priced at EUR75.63 per month, including upload speeds of 10Mbps. However, an introductory offer for customers who opt to sign up before the end of 2011 is also available, priced at EUR45.38 per month. The next cities in line for fibre are Naples, Genoa and Bologna. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in February 2011 telecoms regulator Autorita per le Garanzie Comunicazioni (Agcom) confirmed that it had conditionally approved TI’s 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 stipulated that TI must not sign up more than 40,000 clients during 2011 to help prevent market dominance. Finally, TI is obliged to wholesale the service to its competitors at 12% less than the retail price offered.
In related news, TI has reportedly struck a deal with infrastructure fund F2i to operate its recently-acquired Metroweb fibre-optic infrastructure in Milan. F2i, along with Intesa Sanpaolo’s IMI Investimenti unit, acquired the sought-after operator for EUR436 million in June 2011, beating off competition from the likes of TI in the process. Although details of the tie-up remain sketchy, local press reports indicate that TI will take a 40% stake in the Milanese aspect of the business, but will not invest in the company itself.