MILAN – Telecom Italia (TIM) and broadband network company Open Fiber are in talks to reach a deal to share fast fibre infrastructure in the more remote parts of Italy, sources said on Thursday.
An agreement, which is still under discussion, would allow Open Fiber to use TIM infrastructure in the hard-to-reach “white areas” in return for a fee, one of the sources said.
It would also give Open Fiber access to TIM clients in those areas, the source added.
The move comes as new TIM Chief Executive Pietro Labriola looks to develop a business plan for the heavily indebted group which has received a 10.8 billion euro ($12.4 billion) takeover approach from private equity group KKR.
State lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), a key shareholder in both TIM and Open Fiber, has been looking to create conditions for a merger of the two groups’ network assets to boost fibre rollout and avoid a duplication of investments.
That CDP ambition long predates the KKR approach for TIM that emerged last November.
TIM will hold a board meeting on Monday Feb.14 to discuss Labriola’s plans.
According to Italian daily Il Messaggero on Thursday the broadband agreement for access to remote areas could be signed off on Monday.
But the sources told Reuters several points still needed to be ironed out and more time could be needed.
($1 = 0.8740 euros)