Reuters report from MILAN that Italy’s Fiber optic broadband network provider, Open Fiber has secured enough funds from different sources required to speed up its network rollout throughout the country. Enel in a statement said that the banks, state lender CDP and the European Investment Bank had signed off on a 3.5 billion euro project finance package to help fund the ultrafast broadband network it is rolling out across the country.
The funding, the biggest-ever project finance deal for an optic fiber network in the EMEA region, is led by UniCredit, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas.
Open Fiber, jointly owned by CDP and utility Enel, also said its two shareholders would grant a maximum further 950 million euros.
Open Fiber is building a wholesale-only fast internet network across Italy which will rival the network of former phone monopolist Telecom Italia.
Italian politicians have called for closer ties between the two companies to avoid duplication and allow the companies to speed up investments.
Italian lawmakers created a special purpose company to focus on fiber deployments when they felt that the country’s fiber deployments were moving slowly. The company, OpenFibre formed by the initiative of Italy’s electricity company, Enel is also known as Enel Open Fiber.
The official name of Open Fiber is Enel OpEn Fiber S.p.A, which is an Italian fiber optic company founded in December 2015. Initially, the company was a wholly owned subsidiary of Enel. In July 2016 the company acquired Metroweb Italia from F2i First Fund and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), a private equity fund and a sovereign wealth fund respectively. However, CDP also acquired a 50% stake in Enel OpEn Fiber.