March 27, 2018 / 5:20 PM / 6 months ago

Sky's Italy unit close to broadband deal with Open Fiber - sources

MILAN (Reuters) - Sky’s (SKYB.L) Italian unit is close to signing a deal with Italian broadband company Open Fiber that will allow it to stream programs and offer high-speed broadband services, two sources said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO - Sky logo is seen at the exterior of the Sky Italia buildings on the outskirts of Milan, Italy, April 27, 2016. REUTERS/ Stefano Rellandini

The agreement, which will begin in 2019, could be signed as early as this week or next, one of the sources said, adding however the deal had not yet received the final green light.

The accord will give Sky Italia access to the ultrafast broadband network Open Fiber is laying in more than 270 Italian towns and cities, the source said.

The move comes as more traditional broadcasters review business models to face increased competition from online content providers like Netflix.

Open Fiber, jointly controlled by Italy’s state-controlled utility Enel (ENEI.MI) and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, is rolling out a fiber-to-the-home network to take on phone incumbent Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI).

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes

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