Italian ISP Fastweb has announced that it is doubling the peak download speed on its networks to 200Mbps. Fastweb currently has broadband networks available to around 30% of the population in 100 cities and towns, and is expecting to roll out the new 200Mbps service to around one million homes by the end of this year. Looking further ahead, the firm says it plans to cover 50% of Italy with a 200Mbps internet service by 2020, investing EUR500 million (USD567 million) from 2017 to 2020 to provide ultra-high speed coverage of some 13 million households in 500 cities and towns. Managing director Alberto Calcagno is quoted by Il Corriere della Sera as saying that the 200Mbps rollout will utilise a mixture of fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC), fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and Ethernet over VDSL (eVDSL) technologies.
Separately, Calcagno says that Fastweb has no plans to divest its 10.6% stake in the Milan-based fibre network operator Metroweb, which is currently the focus of much attention in the Italian broadband sector, with firms such as Telecom Italia, Vodafone Italy and Wind Telecomunicazioni all looking to partner with Metroweb to push ahead with a nationwide broadband network rollout plan. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Fastweb ended 2015 with 2.2 million broadband subscribers, including 650,000 on fibre-based systems, giving it around 15% of the country’s retail internet sector.