Article updated at 31 August
One thing has become apparent to everyone, especially during the early 2020 lockdown: a modern and efficient fibre optic network infrastructure is indispensable to exploit all new technologies.
To date, 3 actors with fibre networks and national coverage are active in Italy: Fastweb, Tim and Open Fiber.
The large investments needed to wire the whole country and maintain the network itself are causing a net change of strategies by telco and beyond.
The time when the telecom giants were aiming at their best coverage of the territory as a winning weapon on the market seems to be light years away.
The steep price drop, combined with the aforementioned increase in the costs of development and management of fibre optic networks, has produced unthinkable results.
This is why, for some time now, we have been talking with insistence about the creation of a single national fibre optic network. A digital infrastructure that Italy really needs, to recover as quickly as possible the serious technological gap that separates us from the most advanced Western countries (and not only).
As you can imagine, the situation is very complex and not without obstacles. First of all there are economic considerations: the asset constituted by the proprietary networks is often the most important for a telco, which for this reason is not willing to give up on light heart.
No less important is the difficulty of having companies sit at the same table in strong competition and establishing governance for a shared network: each Telco clearly tries to make decision-making power lean in its own direction.
Finally, the role of policy which (as a good thing) does not want to lose control over the digital highways, the true needle of the future balance of this country. It is no coincidence that CDP (deposit and loan fund) is present at 50% in Open Fiber’s capital and at 0.2% in Tim’s capital: a tangible sign of the importance that the various governments have attached to fibre optic networks.
A perhaps decisive step in the proper acceleration of the process of unification of the optical network is what sees the entry of the American Kkr fund into Tim. According to La Repubblica, Kkr would be prepared to take over a minority share of Telecom Italia’s secondary network. This would be the prelude to a more organic agreement that leads to the creation of the unique network between Tim and Open Fiber.
The direction of the Conte government, declaredly in favour of a single network decompressed by the ownership of a single operator, could be decisive to the success of this intricate operation.
Still to be clarified the role of Cdp, the public \”s strongbox” which is difficult to imagine the opposite Â” will want to maintain a role anything but secondary in the management of the futuristic single network in fiber optics.
As a proof of the great complexity of this operation, the position of the unions that emphasize how necessary a strong subject is and that this task can fulfill Tim, with CDP strengthened in the share ownership, but maintaining the current perimeter through the possession of the majority of the shares. The unions conclude by recalling that the emerging company . the FiberCop project must be open immediately to all interested investors to whom special powers must be guaranteed.
The Tim cda of August 31 should therefore give the green light to the operation Fibercop with Kkr with a payout for telco of 1.8 billion euros.
We will inform you of the next developments of this affair, central to the development of the country.
Update 27 August
Tim and Tiscali signed a Memorandum of Understanding to define the terms of a strategic partnership for the development of the ultra-broadband market. The memorandum provides for the commercial participation of Tiscali in the FiberCop co-investment project, which will include the transfer of Tim’s secondary network, the participation of the KKR Infrastructure fund, and the activities in FlashFiber, the
The project consists, at first, in rationalising the Tiscali network by creating the conditions to facilitate the migration of its customers to the FiberCop ultrabroadband network. The measures will also allow Tiscali to reduce network infrastructure costs substantially, avoiding duplication.
In the medium-long term and in line with the FiberCop development plan, the agreement will allow Tiscali to activate on the newly established network a significant share of its accesses.
TIM and Tiscali will also verify, in full respect of the rights and prerogatives accorded to members by virtue of the statutory rules and any parasocial forecasts, the possibility of a possible entry of Tiscali into the FiberCop share ownership through the
Update of 31 August
As widely anticipated, even following the news emerged in recent days, the Board of Directors of Tim and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti have given green light to the creation of the single network.
Cdp, which we remind you is both a member of Tim and a 50% owner of Open Fiber (similar to Enel) has approved the memorandum of intent that will lead to the creation of the single network together with Tim itself.
Tim, for his part, approved (we anticipated) the entry of the American infrastructure fund Kkr into the management of the secondary network (the copper section to the homes or offices) and as a result will be created FiberCop. The newco will be part of Fastweb, with 4.5%. The Swisscom Group company will bring 20% of Flash Fiber into dowry.
Obviously the main feature of the single network will be the unification of fibre optic networks, combining the resources of Tim and Open Fiber, and finally starting a real project of deep digitalization of Italy, whose GDP in the second quarter 2020 due to the Co
However, a front is immediately opened, which is expected, on the governance of the future single network: Sky, Vodafone and Wind Tre have already expressed their concern.
Alberto Calcagno, CEO of Fastweb, comments on the signing of the agreement that establishes the birth of FiberCop:
• It is the kick-off for a new phase in the telecommunications sector. The accession of CDP With the participation in this agreement, Fastweb confirms its infrastructural vocation: we remain fierce competitors of TIM on services but we are directly and importantly committed to the development of infrastructure, continuing the role of innovators that has characterized us in the last We are confident that FiberCop will complete the commitment to complete the FTTH wiring of 55% of the population in the set time; at the same time we will continue with our complementary project in the grey and white areas, using the 5G FWA to bring the best service