Italy Wants to Increase its Stake in Telecom Italia
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte indicated the state could boost its stake in Telecom Italia to 25 percent as part of attempts to accelerate rollout of ultrafast broadband.
Telecom Italia’s latest shareholder declaration showed state-owned investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) holds a 9.9 percent stake and is its second-largest shareholder behind French conglomerate Vivendi. An increase in CDP’s stake to 25 percent would see it overtake Vivendi.
Conte’s comments follow a long-running debate on how to increase the pace of fibre rollout in the country, as some prominent politicians want to combine the assets of rivals Open Fiber and Telecom Italia to create a single provider. Improving broadband infrastructure is one of Italy’s major priorities.
In 2019, government-run Infratel Italia and Telecom Italia announced a deal to connect state-owned fibre backbone infrastructure to consumers in network white spots, with the latter providing local loops to street cabinets and installing electronics components to enable consumer connectivity. As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Telecom Italia announced this work had been accelerated to improve coverage to a million citizens across eight regions.