MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s biggest utility Enel (MI:) has no plans to sell its 50 percent stake in broadband infrastructure company Open Fiber, Enel’s chief executive said on Tuesday.
“It’s doing a great job, we’re very happy with it… we will never exit Open Fiber,” Francesco Starace said at a conference on the group’s new business plan.
Open Fiber, controlled by Enel and state lender CDP, was enlisted two years ago to build a fast fiber network after Rome accused phone incumbent Telecom Italia (MI:) (TIM) of acting too slowly to upgrade its ageing network.
The government is now set to introduce measures to help create a single broadband company that could combine the networks of TIM and Open Fiber.
“Open Fiber has a mission to cable the whole country at competitive costs and fast… anything that makes that easier, we like, anything else we don’t know,” Starace said.
The populist 5-Star Movement, which took office with ruling coalition partner the League in June, has placed the creation of a fast broadband network at the heart of its industrial policy.
CDP, which controls Italy’s gas and power grid networks, also owns just under 5 percent of TIM.
Last week TIM sacked Chief Executive Amos Genish who had said he supported the idea of a merger with Open Fiber provided TIM was in control of the combined network.
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