Enel still talking to Telecom Italia over fiber broadband plans

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 6:39 PM

Renzi, who's placed the project to connect the whole country up to ultrafast Internet services at the heart of his agenda, has enlisted the assistance of state-controlled Enel to lay fiber-optic cable all the way into homes and businesses using alongside its existing power network.

Italian power utility Enel is still talking to Telecom Italia over its plans to assistance construct a national high-speed fiber-optic broadband network, Enel'south chief executive said on Thursday.

"It'd be grand if they took part," Francesco Starace told reporters at a presentation by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi on the government-backed plans.

Renzi, who's placed the project to connect the whole country up to ultrafast Internet services at the heart of his agenda, has enlisted the assistance of state-controlled Enel to lay fiber-optic cable all the way into homes and businesses using alongside its existing power network.

Enel, which earlier this year set up a new company called Enel Open Fiber, said its infrastructure would be open to all operators, but Telecom Italia has so distant chosen to pursue its own plans for developing a high-speed broadband network and related investments.

French media giant Vivendi, Telecom Italia'south new controlling shareholder, said earlier on Thursday it didn't intend to slice jobs at the former monopoly network operator after media reports said Enel'south fiber optic network plans could trigger 15.000 layoffs at Telecom Italia.

Enel said latest mo it intends to spend 2.5 billion euros ($2.84 billion) in taking ultrafast broadband into the homes of two hundred twenty-four towns across the country.

"We'll choose financial partners for Enel Open Fiber after the summer," Starace said.

Renzi, who praised Enel for its technological prowess, said the first broadband subscription would be made in May in the city of Perugia, one of the five cities chosen as frontrunners for the project.

Roll-out to a second batch of five cities will start in the autumn before a second circular of connections starts to another forty cities.

"The future has arrived," Renzi said.

The first tenders to construct broadband networks in the so-called economically non-viable areas, exterior major towns, would start on April twenty-nine, Renzi said.

The government is waiting for approval from the European Commission on how the tenders should be executed before it goes ahead with development in these areas, sources near to the matter said.

(Extra reporting by Agnieszka Flak and Stephen Jewkes in Milan; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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