The Open Fiber wholesale-only venture of Italian utility giant Enel and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) announced the signing of a EUR 3.5 billion seven-year agreement with a number of banks to support its broadband roll out, confirming earlier reports. The company signed the project finance deal with BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and UniCredit, describing it as one of the largest agreements of its type at a European level in the telecommunications sector.
Open Fiber said it will use the funding to connect a total of around 19 million homes and businesses in 271 Italian cities and 7,000 municipalities. Its shareholder CDP recently acquired a stake in Telecom Italia (TIM) for strategic reasons, although politicians and rival operators have reiterated calls for the creation of a single national network via the merger of Open Fiber with TIM’s soon to be separated fixed network (NetCo). – Telecom Paper