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Sky Italia to launch fibre offering

Sky Italia has struck a long-term deal to launch a fibre-only broadband service from next year in partnership with Open Fiber.

Sky said the agreement would drive growth in pay TV services alongside fibre. The broadband offering will be available alongside Sky’s existing services.

The agreement with Open Fiber will give Sky access to a fibre-to-the-home network that is scheduled to reach the country’s 271 main urban centres by 2022.

The move will enable Sky to deliver its advanced Sky Q service over the internet as well as by satellite from next year.

Sky’s deal with Open Fiber, together with its new agreement with Mediaset for additional pay TV services, places it as a strong multi-play competitor to Vivendi-controlled Telecom Italia, with which it also has a distribution deal for its pay TV service.

Rome-based Open Fiber, which was created in 2015, is 50:50 owned by Italian utility outfit Enel and private equity group Cassa Depositi e Prestiti. The group aims to build a fibre network that will pass 10 million homes by 2020, with networks in Bari, Cagliari, Catania, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Padua, Palermo, Perugia and Venice.

Andrea Zappia, Sky Italia CEO said, “Sky’s mission is to be at the centre of both innovation in the TV industry and the digitalization process of Italy. This agreement with Open Fiber is an important next step. We believe that Pay-TV has significant room for growth and fibre represents an innovative and simple way to deliver more quality TV and on-demand content into the heart of Italian homes. The combination of the Sky Q experience, exclusive content and our passion for our customers will make this offer unique. At the same time, the outstanding quality of Sky’s service will accelerate the take-up of fibre as is already happening in other European countries.

Elisabetta Ripa, Open Fiber CEO said, “We strongly believe that our wholesale-only business model is the best way to accelerate the roll out and penetration in Italy of innovative ultra broadband services, provided on a pure fiber infrastructure. This strategic agreement is a milestone to promote the advantages and the potential of our active TLC services, designed to deliver a superior customer experience. We are proud to partner with Sky in this exciting project.