Italy considering cap in tenders for broadband rollout – sources


ROME, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Italy might restrict the areas a single broadband supplier can win in tenders for these locations the place excessive-pace companies are supplied by one operator, three sources near the matter mentioned.

The transfer being thought of by Innovation Minister Vittorio Colao goals to advertise competitors, as Rome prepares to deploy virtually 7 billion euros ($8 billion) of European restoration funds to broaden extremely-quick connectivity, the sources informed Reuters.

One possibility beneath dialogue envisages a 50% cap, that means a single bidder couldn’t safe greater than half of the only-supplier areas, often known as “grey areas”, one of many sources mentioned including the scheme was not last.

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The cap is per the method of Colao, a former Vodafone CEO, in defending competitors. It would mark a U-flip from the earlier authorities’s plan to merge the mounted line of sector incumbent Telecom Italia (TIM) (TLIT.MI) with that of rival Open Fiber, with TIM proudly owning – at the very least initially – a majority stake in the mixed entity.

The single community mission was on the playing cards final yr when U.S. fund KKR spent 1.8 billion euros for a 37.5% stake in TIM’s final-mile community connecting road cupboards to individuals’s houses.

KKR has tabled a ten.8 billion euro non-binding, money proposal for TIM, a transfer which sources have mentioned goals at defending the U.S. fund’s funding in TIM’s grid.

To pace up broadband rollout with out harming competitors, Rome launched a measure this month forcing operators to share set up prices if working in the identical space and coordinate on allow requests.

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Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte in Rome, Elvira Pollina and Stephen Jewkes in Milan, modifying by Valentina Za and David Evans

Telecom Italia's logo for the TIM brand is seen on a building in Rome, Italy, April 9, 2016. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi