BT says it will in invest Italy's NGN if rules are 'clear'

BT Group is ready to invest in a project aimed at building up Italy's next-generation (NGN) broadband network, on condition of clear regulatory rules and guarantees on the investment's return, a Dow Jones report, quoting an official, said.

The Dow Jones report said BT is interested in investing in Italy's new broadband network as part of its global expansion strategy, but only if this would bring equal access to the network for all the operators and an improvement in the quality of services, according to the spokesman.

He said the project is still in a discussion phase, making it difficult to quantify any possible BT investment.

BT plans to invest £1.5 billion in the UK to roll out a superfast fiber-based broadband network that aims to reach 10 million homes by 2012.

'Italy is the second market for BT globally and we have been investing around €400 million a year in the country,' the BT spokesman said.

The Italian telecoms industry is facing a financial crisis, with leading operator Telecom Italia hit by debt worries and a general wave of pessimism sweeping through the sector.

Last month, Telecom Italia said it had received expressions of interest to invest in the group's capital, but no concrete proposals, the Dow Jones report further said.