Enel Announces New Broadband Company-Enel Open Fiber


The Italian utility company, Enel has formed a new company to build fiber optic broadband networks throughout the country. A new company named Enel Open Fiber will work based on the Open Access Network concept, providing access to all potential service providers. The electricity provider in Italy has been encouraged by policymakers to start a new broadband network providing company in order to speed up the deployment.

Telecommunication policymakers in Italy had tried to push Telecom Italia to speed up the deployment of fiber optic networks. Telecom Italia has been deploying Fiber to the Curb based broadband access technologies in Italy but at its natural speed. Dissatisfied with the slow progress of fiber deployment, the Government pushed the operator to initiate the acquisition of Metroweb. Telecom Italia failed in the negotiation process to take over Metroweb.

The CEO of Italian utility giant Enel has confirmed that the capital of the new venture set up to help build a national fibre-optic telecoms network will be open to all operators. In an interview with Italian daily La Stampa, CEO Francesco Starace revealed the name of the new company – Enel Open Fiber – and reiterated that its governance will be open to all interested companies, even Telecom Italia and that Enel has no plans to re-enter the telecoms market. The new venture is due to be headed by Tommaso Pompei, former CEO of Wind when the operator was controlled by Enel.

The utility is due to install 33 million smart meters over the next four years and is prepared to let operators use the pipes to deploy a superfast broadband network.

In Italy, Telecom Italia provides a broadband speed of 30 Mbps through its FTTC (Fiber to the Curb/Cabinet) networks. In the FTTC network, optical fiber cables are terminated at around 300 meters away from the subscriber. Copper cables carry the signals from the cabinet to the subscriber’s devices. Thus the bandwidth is limited by the transmission capacity of copper cables and the distance.

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