European pay-TV group Sky is in talks to expand its service portfolio in Italy via a partnership to offer high speed internet access. A report from Bloomberg suggests that Sky Italia is in talks with wholesale network operator Open Fiber with a view to adding fibre-based broadband services to its pay-TV packages to win new customers and increase the income from existing subscribers. Sky has already followed a similar path in the UK, where the addition of broadband services helped it boost customer take-up. The report says that a deal in Italy could be reached by October, with Sky’s first internet services to be introduced early in 2018.
Open Fiber is building fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in cities across Italy. It recently inked an agreement with utility firm Acea to allow it to use existing utility infrastructure to speed up the deployment of fibre networks in Rome, covering around 1.3 million premises over the next four or five years. It signed a similar deal covering Milan earlier this week with regional utility group A2A.