Italy’s Minister for Technological Innovation, Vittorio Colao, says the government needs to resolve the stalemate in negotiations to create a single national broadband network provider. Talks to secure a merger of the fixed line assets of incumbent operator Telecom Italia (TIM) with wholesale network provider Open Fiber have not progressed, and the Minister is warning that this could impact on the development of broadband services in Italy.
Reuters quotes him as saying: ‘We can’t afford to be in a wait-and-see situation which risks threatening the plans and the timing for the broadband rollout, funded by the European recovery plan. We need to reach a solution in order to ensure a speed-up in rollout activities.’ The government led by new prime minister Mario Draghi wants every household to have access to ultra-broadband services by 2026. Colao said the country could look at using funds to speed up the rollout of 5G or other technologies if the TIM-Open Fiber deal proves unworkable. Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure is currently available to less than 34% of Italians.