Italian wholesale network operator Open Fiber has signed a EUR3.5 billion (USD4.3 billion) finance deal with three lenders to help fund its ongoing broadband infrastructure rollouts. The seven-year agreement with BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and UniCredit is expected to be finalised in the next few months, Reuters reports. It comes as Open Fiber unveils its latest work plan covering 2018-2027, with the telco saying it is looking to deploy fibre infrastructure past some 19 million homes in 271 cities and 7,000 smaller markets across Italy. It plans to invest around EUR1 billion over the next three years.
Meanwhile, a 13-city wholesale agreement with Vodafone Italy has been expanded, allowing Vodafone to use Open Fiber’s networks in all 271 cities which are due to be covered.
Open Fiber is owned by utility firm Enel and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP). CDP recently took a minority stake in Telecom Italia, fuelling speculation that a merger could be in the cards for Open Fiber and Telecom Italia’s network business, which is due to spun off into a separate division dubbed NetCo.