TIM, Fibercop to provide fiber broadband infrastructure access to Open Fiber

May 16, 2022
The agreement will see Open Fiber pay more than 200 million euros to FiberCop for an indefeasible right of use (IRU) covering aerial infrastructures and access connections to residents of certain “white areas” (rural and underserved) in Italy.

In what may be a prelude to even closer ties, TIM and FiberCop (TIM’s broadband infrastructure joint venture with KKR Infrastructure and FastWeb) have agreed to make available some of their rural fiber broadband infrastructure to Open Fiber. The agreement comes against a backdrop of discussions to merge TIM’s infrastructure assets with Open Fiber.

The agreement will see Open Fiber pay more than 200 million euros to FiberCop for an indefeasible right of use (IRU) covering aerial infrastructures and access connections to residents of certain “white areas” (rural and underserved) in Italy. TIM in term commits to making Open Fiber’s optical fiber available to its customers in the white areas. The agreement will see fiber to the home (FTTH) connections available to 500,000 potential customers, the companies say.

“We are very happy with the agreement reached, which opens up a new page of constructive collaboration in our mutual interests and those of the country,” commented Mario Rossetti, Open Fiber’s CEO and general manager. “The agreement is, in fact, even more significant in the current context of scarcity of labor and increased commodity prices; making investments quicker and more efficient is therefore not only rational but also necessary. The white areas, in particular, are a focal point for us, on which the company’s business is concentrated, considering the major social-economic impacts deriving from the reduction of the digital divide in internal areas, through implementing the UBB Plan.”

“I am proud of this agreement, which represents a further step forward in the execution of our asset enhancement strategy,” added Pietro Labriola, TIM’s CEO and general manager. “Through this transaction we create a new source of revenue, generating value for the Group and its shareholders. The deal also provides a concrete response to the need for connectivity of citizens, businesses, and local administrations that to date have not had access to the opportunities and benefits offered by digital technology. Furthermore, this partnership shows just how important it is to have open, collaborative dialog with the other operators in a market that is increasingly competitive and strategic for the country.”

Coming closer together

The infrastructure sharing agreement comes as CDP, which owns stakes in both TIM and Open Fiber, works to merge the infrastructure assets of the two companies together (see “European Commission approves CDP/Macquarie takeover of Open Fiber”). KKR had attempted to be the engine for such a combination (see “KKR makes a run at Telecom Italia”) but appears to have been shut out, at least for the time being.

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