June 10, 2020 / 3:24 PM / a month ago

Orange near business broadband deal with Open Fiber: source

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French telecoms operator Orange is pictured on a closed retail store in Paris, France, April 17, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - France’s Orange (ORAN.PA) is close to signing a contract to use Open Fiber’s network in Italy to provide business broadband, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Open Fiber is a broadband operator owned by Italian utility Enel (ENEI.MI) and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP).

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Orange, which has a division serving business clients in Italy, and wholesale-only operator Open Fiber were finalising the commercial contract.

Orange and Open Fiber had no comment.

As the coronavirus emergency underlines the importance of fast connections for businesses, sources familiar with the matter said last week French mobile operator Iliad (ILD.PA) was in final talks with Open Fiber over a deal to offer fixed-line data services in Italy.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes and Elvira Pollina in MILAN; additional reporting by Mathieu Rosemain in PARIS; editing by Barbara Lewis

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