Will Italy have the best FTTH network in Europe?

Date: Tue, 01/25/2011 - 14:41

The FTTH Council Europe gives an exclusive preview of FTTH market data in Italy, ahead of its annual Conference in Milan next month, under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and of the City of Milan

Will Italy have the best FTTH network in Europe? Hartwig Tauber, Director General of the FTTH-Council Europe

In spite of several years of slow growth, Italy remains one of the largest FTTH markets in Europe, with more than 2.5 million homes passed and 348,000 fibre subscribers at the end of December 2010, according to preliminary data revealed today by the FTTH Council Europe during a press conference held in the Milan City Hall. The data, which is collected for the Council on a twice-yearly basis by industry analyst firm IDATE, shows that the number of fibre subscribers in Italy stands at just 13.7% of the total number of households passed. But the situation is set to improve dramatically if the “Fibre for Italy” project goes ahead. The project, launched jointly by Fastweb, Vodafone and Wind, would bring FTTH within reach of 20 million people in Italy’s 15 largest cities by 2015. It began with a pilot concerning 7,000 households launched in Collina Fleming near Roma in July 2010.
Telecom Italia has also announced that it would connect 138 cities with FTTH/B by the year 2018. Besides, seven Italian telecom operators (including Telecom Italia) have also recently announced an MOU, with the intention of creating a national open access FTTH infrastructure focused on areas where no operator has scheduled fibre roll out.
“Milan is the birthplace of fibre-to-the-home in Italy “, said Luigi Rossi Bernardi, Councillor for Research, Innovation and Human Resources for the municipality of Milan who opened today press conference with his speech. “Over 10 years ago now, Fastweb joined forces with AEM (today called A2A) to build this extraordinary FTTH network that today gives us unlimited possibilities for communication, progress and innovation.”
“We are delighted that Italy’s operators have decided to co-operate to build fibre networks for mutual benefit, particularly this year when the country is hosting our flagship conference," said Hartwig Tauber, Director General of the FTTH-Council Europe. "This is an inspirational example of how operators can work together to make FTTH a reality, while retaining a competitive market for services, and of course we hope that people will come to our conference to hear about the latest developments.”
Taking place in the fabulous Milano Convention Centre on 9-10 February 2011, the FTTH Conference will feature the theme “Creating a brighter future”. The event will highlight the many different ways that FTTH can create social, economic and environmental benefits.

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