Italy wants to establish a single broadband provider

Italian Deputy PM Luigi Di Maio said on Sunday the government is looking at establishing a single national broadband provider.

Di Maio, who leads the anti-establishment Five Star Movement party, made the revelation in an interview with la7 television.

“We are working to set the conditions in order to create a single player to distribute internet and broadband,” Di Maio said.

Reducing market competition is typically associated with higher consumer prices.

Di Maio didn’t elaborate further on the plans but said to create “a new digital highway” the government would be setting up talks with all involved players.

Open Fiber and TIM (Telecom Italia) are currently in the process of rolling out their fibre optic network across Italy. The government believes duplicating infrastructure makes little sense and wants the companies to merge operations.

The government is a joint owner of Open Fiber via state lending company Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), while CDP also has a stake of around 4% in TIM.

‘Our aim is to approach the issue with a view to guaranteeing national security,’ Di Maio said back in July.

(Image Credit: LUIGI DI MAIO by Pietro Piupparco under CC BY-SA 2.0)

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