The Italian state-backed utility group Enel has revealed that it would be willing to participate in the government’s planned EUR12 billion (USD13.3 billion) national broadband network deployment, which aims to have fibre networks passing 85% of the population by 2020. A report from Reuters suggests that Enel has written to Italy’s communications regulator Agcom saying its domestic network could be used to help install fibre optic cables more cheaply. In the letter seen by Reuters, Enel said its contribution would be done ‘in a synergistic way with what the telecom operators have done and planned’, bringing benefits to rural areas.
There has been speculation that the government could use Metroweb, a fibre network owner which is part state-owned, as a vehicle for the ultra-high speed rollout, though there have been disagreements over how the country’s telecom operators would participate in the project. Incumbent operator Telecom Italia (TI) wants to acquire control of Metroweb, but discussions with the government have faltered. Meanwhile, alternative operators such as Vodafone and Wind favour a collaboration with the government via Metroweb.