Telecom Italia (TIM) says the wholesale business model adopted by merger target Open Fiber is a ‘failure’. The telco was responding to questions from investors ahead of a shareholder meeting this week. Reuters reports TIM as stating that a single nationwide broadband network in Italy should be controlled by a vertically integrated operator since wholesale-only operations have met with little success when they have been used elsewhere.
Open Fiber defended itself, saying that EU regulations and Italy’s own telecoms watchdog had found the wholesale model the best method for deploying ultrabroadband networks. The firm added that it was now Europe’s third largest fibre network operator, having deployed networks past 8.5 million homes, which it labelled: ‘a result far from a failure, judging by the uncompetitive methods used by the incumbent to obstruct it and the renewed interest shown in taking control of it.’
Open Fiber and TIM both have state-controlled lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) as a shareholder and the Italian government is keen to see the parties come together to create a single national broadband network to avoid duplication of infrastructure.