Telecommunications operator doubles its fiber optic coverage to reach 13 million households in 500 cities, with speeds that grow up to 200 Mbps. “We will start in the small and medium municipalities as we don’t want a two-speed Italy”.
Fastweb announces the development of its fiber optic network with speeds of up to 200 Mbps, extending coverage to 50% of the population - therefore 13 million households and businesses in 500 cities by 2020. The new plan builds on the previous four-year plan, which by the end of 2016 will have brought Fastweb fiber optic coverage to 7.5 million households or 30% of the Italian population.
With this new project, Fastweb further delivers upon its mission: the provision of high-speed internet to the maximum number of Italians - wherever they may be located. The first cities to be connected at speeds of up to 200 Mbps on April 11 will be medium and small municipalities, those very areas - far from the large Italian urban centers - who have the greatest need for ultra-broadband infrastructure to be competitive and connected to the large cities. Fastweb will begin with Arezzo, Viterbo, Riccione, Rimini, Trento, Massa, Pistoia and Caserta, followed by additional launches in subsequent months, to reach 1 million homes with up to 200 Mpbs by the end of 2016 and 13 million homes by 2020.
The plan takes a dual approach to ensure its quick roll-out: on the one hand the connection of medium-sized cities (up to 100 thousand inhabitants), directly with eVdsl technology providing speeds of up to 200 Mbps; on the other and in parallel upgrades of Vdsl2 technology (up to 100 Mbps) and eVdsl technology (up to 200 Mbps) in the medium/large cities previously connected to the fiber optic network under the 2014-2016 plan, beginning with Rome and Milan. Network and innovation investment over the duration of the plan will total Euro 2 billion, of which 500 million dedicated to the network upgrade.
Fastweb currently leads the ultra-broadband market, with 650,000 customers, approximately half of the total ultra-broadband market. With the extension of fiber network coverage and speeds increase, Fastweb will maintain its position in the ultra-broadband market.
Alberto Calcagno, Chief Executive Officer of Fastweb stated: “The plan which we announced today is vital for Italy. Crucially, it brings speeds of 200 megabits per second to the Italian people, beginning from medium municipalities and the smaller population centers. My hope is that young people in these centers who want to dedicate themselves to digital jobs may do it without needing to move to a big city. We have always rejected a two-speed Italy. Moreover our plan actively contributes to Government Digital Agenda. Italy is climbing the ultra-broadband availability rankings: last year we headed the European rankings in terms of greatest fiber optic network coverage growth and over the course of two years, thanks in addition to the incisive action of the Government, we have closed the infrastructural gap with countries such as France. The plan launched today by Fastweb brings fiber to the street cabinets that connect millions of houses not reached by ultra broadband fiber network until today. This plan is preparatory to the set up of fiber last mile that will be realized by Enel, Metroweb or Tim”.
In 1999, Fastweb was the first operator to construct a fiber optic network (Fiber To The Home), reaching 2 million residences in Milan, Genoa, Bologna, Turin, Rome, Bari and Naples. In 2010, the company was the first in Europe to offer residential customers connections of up to 100 Mbps. From 2012, Fastweb has being investing once more to significantly expand fiber optic coverage to half of the Italian population. Fastweb’s ongoing innovation drive and investment is unparalleled in Europe with approx. 30% of revenues every year invested - for a total of Euro 9 billion since its foundation - enabling the company to again boost customers and revenues in 2015. Fastweb’s infrastructure strategy is multi-faceted: alongside the largest alternative fiber network in Italy - which will reach 50% of the population thanks to the new four-year plan announced today - the operator over the last two years has added the most advanced Data Center in Italy, a new generation WiFi hotspot network enabling Fastweb customers to be always connected - also in mobility - to the fiber network and the new 4G network to which mobile clients will migrate, providing mobile access also at top speeds.