Open Fiber has signed an agreement with a pool of commercial banks including Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and the European Investment Bank (EIB), securing a €3.5 billion finance programme to aid the roll out of fibre to the home (FTTH) across Italy.
The financing, together with a further €950 million made available by shareholders CDP Equity and Enel, plus profit generated by Open Fiber itself, will allow the development of an electronic communications infrastructure that will reach approximately 19.5 million properties in both urban and rural regions.
On the agreement, Elisabetta Ripa, CEO of Open Fiber, commented: ‘The financial market has shown great interest in the Open Fiber Industrial Plan. This is an important sign of confidence in the project, in the wholesale only model and especially in the Open Fiber people who have done a fantastic job in recent months.’
Added Franco Bassanini, president at Open Fiber: ‘The presence in the pool of lenders of several foreign financial intermediaries of primary importance is, implicitly, a sign of confidence in our country, significant in a phase of nervousness of the markets; the operation is also a new demonstration of the growing attention of the markets for the validity of the business model adopted by Open Fiber and other innovative European companies, the most suitable to meet the need to realize, with long-term investments, the infrastructures new generation network for the Gigabit Society.’
Open Fiber recently hosted a meeting between some of Europe’s most recognisable full fibre wholesale-only and open access operators, resulting in the creation of an alliance aimed at promoting the advantages of the wholesale only model (see European wholesalers create alliance to accelerate fibre network rollout).