Fastweb boss in favour of TIM and Open Fiber merger

14 Nov 2017

The managing director of Italian ISP Fastweb says he is in favour of a merger between Telecom Italia (TIM) and wholesale network operator Open Fiber. Alberto Calcagno told Il Sole 24 Ore that a combination of the two firms’ respective infrastructure would ‘make sense’. He also said that having state investment company Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) as a shareholder in TIM would ‘ensure investment, quality and network rollout’. CDP is currently part-owner of Open Fiber along with utility group Enel. Calcagno did add, however, that he is against a mooted split of TIM’s retail and network operations, saying that this would hamper the development of its infrastructure ‘for at least a couple of years’.

Swisscom subsidiary Fastweb is collaborating with TIM on a fibre-optic network rollout scheme, but Calcagno said that Fastweb would not want to be part of a possible merger, saying his company will push ahead with its own network deployments in urban areas. Both TIM and Open Fiber are carrying out their own fibre rollouts.

Authorities in Rome have raised concerns that TIM’s 24% shareholder, French firm Vivendi, may have too great an influence over assets which are considered to be of strategic importance, including Telecom Italia’s international wholesale unit Sparkle, and the Telsy division, which provides encrypted communications to the military and government.

Italy, Fastweb, Open Fiber, Telecom Italia (TIM), Telecom Italia Group (TIM Group)