Utility firm Enel may collaborate on broadband deployments

14 Apr 2015

The Italian utility group Enel is considering allowing its national distribution network of transmission towers and 450,000 electricity cabinets to be used by telcos to help with the deployment of fibre broadband infrastructure. A report from Reuters cited ‘three sources close to the matter’, with one of them saying: ‘Enel would make its infrastructure available… to help speed up the process of digitalisation,’ though further details were not disclosed. The Italian government recently approved a EUR6 billion (USD6.3 billion) project to get 30Mbps broadband connections to every household in the country by 2020, with the state-backed fibre network owner Metroweb seen as the most likely vehicle for a combined rollout by Italy’s communications providers.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Metroweb has criticised Telecom Italia’s (TI’s) plans to spend EUR500 million on its own fibre rollout as being insufficient. Franco Bassanini says TI’s scheme to have fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in 40 Italian cities by 2017 would require a greater level of investment. TI had been hoping to take a majority stake in Metroweb, though there is opposition from alternative providers such as Vodafone Italy and Wind Telecomunicazioni.

Italy, Metroweb, Telecom Italia (TIM)