Infratel Italia and TIM have signed an agreement that will allow them to ‘turn on’ all the fibre-optic public network infrastructures Infratel has built in 600 municipalities spread over eight regions (Abruzzo, Sardinia, Tuscany, Apulia, Calabria, Lazio, Lombardy and Marche) as part of its direct model.
This will speed up the development of ultrabroadband networks in ‘market failure’ areas, having not seen tender competitions in the past.
The partnership will result in a plan of activities for the regions and municipalities involved. TIM will carry out a road map of activation once the fibre optics have been provided by Infratel. Fixed dates will be given when the services is activated for customers, public administration and companies in the areas.
The agreement represents a virtuous synergy between the public and private sectors in order to bridge the digital divide in Italy. This is in keeping with the country’s strategy to spread ultrabroadband. It will also result in TIM getting hold of a significant amount of dark-fibre infrastructure built by Infratel, which it will use to bring ultrabroadband to the municipalities served by the project.
TIM has decided to use and integrate fibre-optic network infrastructures built by Infratel (the in-house company of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development) in order to provide ultrabroadband services using FTTC and FTTH technology. This will benefit more than 1 million people and businesses in the areas in question.
The agreement is based on rights of use going back 15 years and is part of the ‘Framework agreement on rights of use for fibre-optics and related services’ signed by TIM and Infratel in November 2018.
“MiSE expresses satisfaction with the signing of an agreement that allows the activation of ultra-broadband services by an operator, where the public fibre entirely financed by the State has been placed. Citizens and businesses will enjoy the benefits of high-speed connection. The operation will affect more than 1 million residents of 600 municipalities, fixing a long-standing problem”, said Marco Bellezza, Legal Counsel to Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio on Communication and Digital Innovation.
At a meeting in November 2018, Infratel’s Steering Committee noted that, despite many municipalities now being connected, with complete and tested services, others might remain cut off due to a lack of interest from operators. This problem has now been overcome.
The agreement does not prevent other operators gaining access to the public network, but it does set out a fixed schedule of activation, based on the availability of fibre when work is finished.
The activation plan has already begun, even as negotiations continued to determine all aspects of the contract. An acceleration in the massive spread of services is set to begin in 2019 and be complete by 2020 /2021.