Open Access will operate independently from the rest of Telecom Italia's business. The idea behind this kind of network separation is to make access networks more competitive in the country.
Today's announcement follows BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s lead. BT and the Ofcom started the access network separation trend when the British incumbent formed Openreach in September 2005 as part of an agreement with the regulator. Swedish regulator National Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) was reviewing last year the possibility of a similar network separation for Telia Company . (See BT Opens Up Access and Telcos Consider the Splits.)
The Italian incumbent has also created a new business division called Technology and Operations, led by Stefano Pileri. The division consists of four departments:
- The new Open Access unit, responsible for maintaining the access network and delivering access services
- The Network department, which will oversea innovation in the telecom network
- Information Technology, responsible for IT systems
- Technical Infrastructures, in charge of the maintaining the group's facilities management, such as real estate