ROME (Reuters) – Italy is positioning to become an influential shareholder in the broadband operator it plans to create by brokering a merger of Telecom Italia’s (TIM) fixed-line access network with state-controlled Open Fiber, three sources said.
FILE PHOTO: Telecom Italia logo is seen at the headquarters in Rozzano neighbourhood of Milan, Italy, May 25, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo
The plan, championed by Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri from the co-ruling centre-left PD party, envisages transferring a broad range of TIM assets into the new player, which could be a candidate for grants from Europe’s recovery fund.
Those assets include TIM’s network that runs from switching centers to households.
Rome, which sees a single, fast broadband network as crucial to closing Italy’s digital gap with the rest of Europe, aims to use the European funds to upgrade the former phone monopoly’s network from copper to fibre by 2025, a government source