As most of you will probably know already, Telecom Italia announced last week that the board had approved a plan to separate the access network from the service business. Here is the press release.
This has been in the works for a long time, and it’s going to be interesting to look at how exactly it plays out: TI is betting – I suspect – that this can represent an influx of new cash to finance the network deployment plan (FTTC in major cities except for Milan’s FTTH). At the same time as this announcement, rumours as to the investment budget in the network have been surfacing as pointed by Telecom Paper.
The separation of course is framed as “equal access to all market players”, which is somewhat ironic, suggesting that access until now was not equal.
Still, as someone who is more and more convinced that we need to accelerate the shift towards structural separation, I see this as a positive first step. As highlighted in our report on the New Zealand FTTH Model, it’s very hard to structurally separate if you haven’t done the unraveling exercice that functional separation requires…
Photo Credit: Old Coliseum by Benoît Felten