* T.Italia rejects network managed by multiple players
* Open to discussing issue with rivals at roundtable next wk
ROME, May 13 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) rejects the idea ofjoining a shared network run by many players, a company executive said on Thursday, distancing itself from the idea of new fibre-optic network put forward by Italian rivals.
Italy’s No. 2 broadband operator Fastweb FWB.MI, Wind and Vodafone Italia (VOD.L) last week announced plans to roll out a 2.5 billion euro fibre-optic network in Italy that would be open to public and private partners. [ID:nLDE6461GC]
Telecom Italia is “interested in all options for investment synergies but says an absolute no to a condominium-style network,” its head of technology and operations Oscar Cicchetti said at a conference, in comments confirmed by the company.
Still, he said the project was “positive” and that the company would attend a roundtable with rivals on the new network next week.
Telecom Italia last week said it welcomed the intiative but would not change its investment plans. Wind, one of the companies involved in the new initiative, has said the project would be difficult to push through without support from the government and Telecom Italia, Italy’s biggest telecom company.
Some lawmakers have proposed splitting of Telecom Italia’s fixed-line network to spur Italy’s broadband ambitions, but the company has strongly opposed such a move. It says it is investing in a high-speed network only in areas where ther eis demand.
The subject of a national fibre-optic network has gathered momentum over the past year, but critics are skeptical over whether companies can afford to fund its construction and even if there is enough demand across the country to justify the project. (Reporting by Deepa Babington)