The Italian government is reportedly considering a plan which would create a single national broadband network outside the control of incumbent operator Telecom Italia (TIM). TIM and wholesale network owner Open Fiber have been in long-running negotiations with regard to combining their network assets, but the talks are at deadlock due to disagreements concerning governance of the new entity. It is thought that TIM would be looking to retain control of the merged business.
Under new government proposals, a separate company would be created along the lines of Openreach in the UK, which is wholly owned by former monopolist BT but is a legally separate entity. Reuters writes that the Italian network firm would initially be majority owned by TIM, but other telcos would be able to invest in the single grid and access would be given to all players on an equal basis. Meanwhile, TIM is in discussions with US private equity fund KKR to sell off a 40% stake in its secondary or last-mile copper and fibre-optic networks.