Italy eyes universal broadband plan

The Italian government has revealed that it is developing plans to launch an €800 million project to ensure ubiquitous broadband access from 2010.   The minister of public administration, Renato Brunetta, said the project was seeking investment from public and private sources, and aimed to provide network speeds of at least 2Mbps.
 
“I expect to have 2MB of broadband for everyone starting from 2010. The plan is ready ... It's a problem of investments, but by now only a final push is needed,” Brunetta told Reuters.
 
The plan requires regulatory approval, which is up for consideration by the end of November, and plans to start the project by the end of the year. The news follows Telecom Italia’s announcement earlier this month that it is open to collaboration with rival operators to expand the nation’s broadband infrastructure. However the incumbent is steadfast in its unwillingness to give up its fixed line assets to help form such a joint venture.
 
In July Italy's telecom regulator mooted the set up of a private-public vehicle to roll out a high-speed broadband network, with funds from companies and the state.

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