The Italian government is preparing legislation which could pave the way for the creation of a single broadband infrastructure company. A report from Reuters says that authorities are looking to combine the networks of Telecom Italia (TIM) and Open Fiber to avoid duplication. The government is a major investor in Open Fiber via state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and national utility company Enel, while it also has a minority interest in TIM.
The report quotes Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister, Luigi di Maio, as saying: ‘We are working to set the conditions in order to create a single player to distribute internet and broadband.’ He added that the government is looking set up talks with all the parties involved and hopes to forge an agreement by the end of the year.
Telecom Italia is currently working on the separation of its network assets from its retail operations and is creating a new wholly-owned unit – NetCo – to hold its infrastructure business. Executives at both Enel and TIM have in the past said they are open to an infrastructure sharing partnership between the two firms, though they have stopped short of advocating a full-blown combination of their assets.