MILAN Italian utility Enel said on Wednesday it planned to invest around 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) to help develop a national rapid broadband network.
The state controlled utility said in a statement it plans to slowly roll out a fiber to the home network
The development of a broadband network is a top priority of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi who plans to update the telephone infrastructure in Italy and support company.
Enel, which is going to begin installing a new generation of smart electricity meters into 33 million houses that were Italian, has proposed using its conduits to run fiber into offices and houses.
Enel Open Fiber, the vehicle created to carry out the utility’s job, will slowly bring rapid Enel said.
Approximately 7.5 million houses will be covered in the first few years of the strategy, it said.
Enel, which will not mean to be a telecoms operator, has strategies to duplicate services that are similar in states where it runs electricity distribution infrastructure such as in Latin America.
Italy, which lags behind other European nations covered by next-generation web networks, has fought to bring investors as a result of substantial investments required and likely to just create returns that were little.
Enel, which commands Spain’s largest utility Endesa said it’d discussed a letter of intent with Vodafone and Wind to reach a commercial and tactical partnership to develop lastmile broadband across Italy.
It said Enel Open Fiber stayed open to their customer base as well as all retail telecom operators.
Enel’s suggestion has caused some friction with former telephone monopoly Telecom Italia which has its own strategies for connecting houses to rapid broadband.
Telecom Italia in its latest strategy intends to spend 12 billion euros by 2018 on investments, including 3.6 billion to place fiber optic cables.