June 4, 2020 / 2:36 PM / a month ago

Enel CEO says any single fiber network in Italy needs to be independent

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Italian multinational energy company Enel is seen at the Milan's headquarter, Italy, February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

MILAN (Reuters) - Enel (ENEI.MI) Chief Executive Francesco Starace said on Thursday any single ultra-fast fiber network in Italy should remain independent from groups selling services to clients.

Asked about the need for a single broadband network combining Telecom Italia’s (TLIT.MI) infrastructure and broadband unit Open Fiber, Enel CEO told Corriere TV he said he was more interested about the expansion of the network.

“What is important to me is to continue with the roll-out ... and keep the network separate from the players who provide services to final clients,” he said during a public event.

Telecom Italia (TIM) is negotiating with Enel and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti on ways to integrate with Open Fiber to create a national fiber champion and avoid costly duplication of investments.

Open Fiber, a wholesale-only fast broadband operator, is jointly owned by Enel and CDP, which is also TIM’s second-largest shareholder.

Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Valentina Za, editing by Francesca Landini

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