Telecom Italia (TIM) has inked a deal with the Italian branch of Xavier Niel’s Iliad to co-invest in TIM’s last-mile grid firm FiberCop in order to accelerate the deployment of fiber broadband lines in Italy.
Under the terms of the agreement with TIM, Iliad will co-invest in FiberCop to assist in the development of the network that connects street cabinets to people’s houses. Iliad will receive access to Telecom Italia’s core fiber network, allowing it to provide ultrafast fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connections to clients.
According to TIM, the agreement validated FiberCop’s investment strategy, which aims to link 75 percent of Italy’s so-called grey and black zones, including cities and industrial districts, with FTTH connections at speeds of more than 1 gigabyte per second by 2025. The agreement’s financial terms were not disclosed.
According to analysts, the FiberCop agreement might help TIM counter some of the heightened competitive pressure on its fixed retail sector as a result of its French rival’s impending entry into the market.
This is TIM’s third wholesale access arrangement to its FiberCop network, after similar agreements were cemented with Fastweb and Tiscali. Furthermore, Iliad secured a contract with TIM rival OpenFiber last year to provide FTTH connection to consumers in 271 Italian cities. Nevertheless, the purchase should be a significant boost for Iliad’s expanding fiber business, which it now expects to deploy by the end of summer this year.