Italian wholesale network operator Open Fiber has begun deployment of fibre-optic networks in the first of the country’s so-called ‘grey’ areas, which are those markets currently served by just one fixed line telco and where no competing networks are likely to be rolled out without government support. The rollout, beginning in the Naples suburb of Mugnano di Napoli, forms part of the government’s Italia a 1 Giga project, which aims to bring gigabit-capable infrastructure to underserved communities.
As part of a nationwide tender worth EUR3.39 billion (USD3.30 billion), in May this year Open Fiber won rollout contracts covering 3,881 municipalities in the regions of Tuscany, Lazio, Puglia, Emilia-Romagna, Sicily, Campania, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto and Lombardy. The contracts for the remaining Italian regions were awarded to FiberCop, a fixed network venture involving Telecom Italia (TIM), Fastweb and investment firm KKR. Open Fiber says its grey area rollouts will encompass around 3.3 million households across the nine regions.