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Fastweb Hits 100Mbit/s

5:45 AM -- Italian competitive operator Fastweb SpA (Milan: FWB) is offering a 100-Mbit/s FTTH service, called FIBER 100, to 2 million homes and businesses from September 6, following the completion of a network upgrade.

The operator, one of the first carriers in Europe to offer widespread residential fiber access and IPTV services, says the service will be available in Milan, Rome, Genoa, Turin, Bologna, Naples, and Bari.

Fastweb, which claims the average Italian DSL customers gets a typical downlink speed of just 4.1 Mbit/s, says the service offers downlink speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s and uplink speeds of up to 10 Mbit/s.

Customers will be charged a one-time activation fee of €100 (US$128), but then the monthly fee is only €15 ($19.26), though there is an initial promotion at just €10 ($12.80) per month.

Existing Fastweb broadband customers, of which there are about 1.7 million throughout Italy, need only order a replacement home gateway to access the new service if they are located in an upgraded area. (See FastWeb Reports H1 and Pirelli Wins FTTH Gateway Deal.)

The move is part of a broader push by Italy's competitive operators to challenge incumbent Telecom Italia (TIM) 's fiber access and triple-play services. (See BBWF: WDM PON? Bring It On! and T Italia Set to Take IPTV Crown.)

Fastweb has teamed up with Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA and Vodafone Italy for the Next Generation Access Network (NGAN) project, which aims to encourage network sharing and promote the uptake of 100-Mbit/s services throughout the country. (See Italians Unveil FTTH Project.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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