Wind Telecomunicazioni (Wind Italy) and Vodafone Italy have officially signed contracts with Italian fibre-optic wholesaler Metroweb to utilise the latter’s Milanese fibre infrastructure to provide commercial fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services to end-users. As a result, the duo are expected to be able to offer 1Gbps fibre-optic packages to subscribers as early as next month.
At 5,100km in length, Metroweb claims to have the ‘most widely extended metropolitan network in Europe’. Although the infrastructure is concentrated in Milan, it connects to some of the biggest cities in northern Italy, including: Bologna, Turin, Verona, Vicenza and Genoa. Rival operator FastWeb acquired an 11.1% stake in Metroweb in November 2011. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in March Metroweb told a parliamentary committee that it plans to initiate a FTTH scheme worth EUR4.5 billion (USD5.9 billion), covering 30 major cities by 2015. The fibre company hopes to cover a dozen cities by 2013 (including Rome, Turin and Naples), rising to 18 by 2014, before completing its rollout target the following year. When quizzed by the media how the plans will affect Telecom Italia’s previously-announced rollout of fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) services in 138 cities by 2018, Gamberale described the two projects as ‘complementary’.