Italian utility company Enel estimates the cost of fiber optic broadband deployment to Italian homes using the existing infrastructures would be around 3.3 billion US dollars. Enel has been working towards an affordable fiber optic high speed broadband delivery solution ever since the government had asked the utility company to study broadband deployment in areas where Telecom Italia’s fiber deployments are not yet reached.
Existing infrastructures for broadband network deployment would drastically reduce project cost. In most of the brownfield deployments, existing facilities could be utilized to reduce installation time and cost. Construction of infrastructure takes time and much part of it needs to be spent of civil construction. A study conducted by FTTH Council reveals that more than 68 percent of the total project cost for fiber optic network construction is going to the civil works. Cost of fiber optic cables is around 6 to 8 percent depending on the construction and fiber count. Enel has vast network of ducts and poles for its electricity and gas distribution. The company can make use of these networks for installation of fiber optic cables.
Utilization of existing networks for deployment of fiber optic cables would not only enable Enel to reduce cost but also completion of projects in short time. Using the infrastructure of Enel to bring fiber optic telecom cables to millions of Italian homes would cost up to US$ 3.34 billion that is a fifth of current official estimates, officials close to the matter says.
Italian Prime minister Matteo Renzi has announced that rolling out a nationwide fiber optic network is one of his government’s priorities to help modernize Italy’s laggard economy. Fiber optic broadband deployments create jobs directly and indirectly and the services would create opportunities for businesses and individuals to expand their business to international level.
Enel, Italy’s biggest power utility, will deploy new smart meters to 33 million households over the next four years and is ready to allow the pipes it uses to connect these meters to host telecom cables.
Enel can utilize its manpower effectively for multiple jobs at customer premises. While the company staff visit the homes, the same people that will shut the power off and take the old meter out can also put in fiber optic cables into the pipe going out to the utility company’s cabin.
As Italian Government is pushing for quicker deployment of fiber optic broadband, suggestions from many corners are coming up for their contribution towards this national initiative. Italian railways had also expressed their willingness to help the faster deployment of high speed broadband deployment. Italian government started searching alternative ways after the much expected talks with Telecom Italia and Metroweb did not go in the right direction.