Dow Jones Newswires reports that Italian telcos FastWeb, Wind and Vodafone Italy have withdrawn from the Next Generation Network (NGN) committee set up to develop a shared national fibre-optic broadband network involving alternative broadband operators and incumbent Telecom Italia (TI). The altnets issued a joint statement claiming that the committee failed to take into consideration their contributions and did not represent their positions in its proposed guidelines, whilst closely reflecting TI’s requests. The three disgruntled operators will discuss their views further in an upcoming hearing with regulator Agcom. The trio have hatched plans to jointly build a EUR2.5 billion (USD3.2 billion) fibre network in Italy’s biggest 15 cities over five years, covering approximately ten million more people, whilst TI has so far resisted calls to join the shared broadband project and instead insisted it will continue with its own separate plans, which involve investing EUR9 billion in its network infrastructure by 2012 and providing 100Mbps direct fibre broadband access to 50% of the population by 2018.
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