Italian PM inaugurates Open Fiber digital divide rollout

Wednesday 15 November 2017 | 09:37 CET | News

Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni has inaugurated the first FTTH construction site of phase one of the government's tenders to build and operate a national high-speed broadband network in digital divide areas throughout the country. The symbolic ribbon cutting event took place in the town of Campli in the Italian region of Abruzzo, badly hit by recent earthquakes. The Open Fiber wholesale-only venture of Italian utility Enel and state lender CDP was awarded the corresponding contract to roll out fibre cable in underserved parts of Abruzzo, Molise, Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, Tuscany and Veneto.

A total of 4.6 million households and 500,000 businesses in 3,043 towns are covered under the first phase of the government's broadband tenders, with Open Fiber also tasked with the maintenance of the publicly-owned network for a period of 20 years.

Last week Open Fiber also signed the concession contracts for the second round of tenders to build and operate a fibre network in the regions of Piedmont, Aosta Valley, Liguria, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Umbria, Marche, Lazio, Campania, Basilicata, Sicily and the Autonomous Province of Trento. Open Fiber said the first two tenders cover well over 9 million homes in 6,753 localities.

The third and final lot of broadband tenders is still at the consultation stage, with state-owned infrastructure firm Infratel due to launch the process to cover the regions of Calabria, Puglia and Sardinia by the end of the year.

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