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''Local Loop'' trials commence

09/07/2000 - 12:00 PM

Telecom Italia is to run trials on provision of local loop unbundling, having reached agreement with E-Planet (through subsidiary company Planetwork), Lombardiacom and Telexis, the Fiat Group telecommunications company which is launching Atlanet with Acea Telefonica. Heralding the next phase of telecommunications industry liberalization, these trials will make it possible to perfect technical and procedural elements that will be of fundamental importance. The move complies with rulings issued by the Italian Communications Regulatory Authority, and with European Commission recommendations. Long awaited by the entire marketplace, it gives new impetus to the liberalization process.

"Once more," said Luigi Orsi Carbone, E-Planet chairman and CEO, "We are in the vanguard of companies to offer our customers leading-edge technologies. Unbundling is strategic for us because it rounds off our range of broadband services, enabling smaller companies and residential customers to connect to fiber-optic networks."

Franco Gianolio, Telexis CEO, declared: "The start of unbundling trials is most definitely a major step along the road to liberalization. Competition remains the goal, and to facilitate competition, it is fundamental that unbundling prices are set within a short timescale."

"These trials agreements," underscored Rocco Sabelli, Head of Telecom Italia Wireline, Telecom´s business unit for fixed telephony and corporate Internet services, "open up new growth opportunities for the entire telecommunications market. The trials are a further demonstration for how rapid and scrupulous Telecom Italia is when its area of action is governed by rules that are both clear and certain."

Lombardiacom is the Lombardy region´s first telephone company. Venture capital funds including Kiwi and First Prize have invested in the company, alongside major economic and financial groups and public utilities including Cofide, BPB Investimenti (Banca Popolare di Bergamo group), Camuzzi, Cogeme, Colombo Gas, Compagnia Bresciana Investimenti group, Nordest Merchant, Sober Gas, Erogasmet, Lombardini group, Jannone group and Fidelitas.

"This opportunity," stated Riccardo Negro, Lombardiacom CEO, "allows us to get ready to offer broadband services to all of Lombardy´s businesses and consumers."