FibreConnect receives €50 million for Italian fiber-optic

FibreConnect, an independent, wholesale-only, operator that offers high-performance connectivity services for businesses in Italy's Industrial and Artisanal Areas, has signed a €50 million financing agreement with the European Investment Bank.

The goal is rolling out fiber optics network in Italian Industrial areas, land plot identified by municipalities as location of manufacturing activities. The telecom infrastructure is a key element in fostering the country's digital transition by covering businesses, especially small and medium-sized ones, that are based in areas not yet reached by the Internet access and not included in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) funding. Construction of the infrastructure began in 2023 and the project is scheduled for completion by 2027.

The EIB's support is an acknowledgement of FibreConnect’s business model, which partners with territory-based internet service providers (ISP) to develop the network, guaranteeing a revenue share. Partners are identified basing on market needs and, hence, business demand for services. In a landscape where the traditional infrastructure financing model - which relies on public incentives and regulatory schemes aimed at guaranteed returns - is coming under increased scrutiny, FibreConnect adopts an innovative approach that ensures that the funds raised are invested in the network and that the company focuses on areas where a strong market demand exists.

"The EIB's support demonstrates the relevance of our project for Italy's development and the digital transition of the Country. The agreement is extremely relevant from a financial point of view: under our business model, we draw on financing when market demand exists, and such resources are used for infrastructure development. This is a unique approach for the infrastructure sector in Italy and Europe” – Giovanni Cialdino, CFO and Co-Founder of FibreConnect, commented.


The new technological infrastructure is a key element in fostering the country's digital transition granting companies – especially SMEs – the proper technological infrastructure to let their business grow. From the beginning of 2023 to date, FibreConnect had made optic fiber available to more than 40,000 businesses located in 85 different Industrial and Artisanal Areas (AIA) across Italy. In Italy there are more than 14,000 business areas without enough digital services for companies. FibreConnect also activated the long-distance network consisting of around 4,000 km of optic fiber connecting 20 PoPs (Points of Presence) and the main national Internet Exchanges, equipped with very high-capacity transmission systems.

Even though the PNRR planned significant investments (approx. €7 billion) and the network coverage for residential customers reached 54%, according to an analysis by FibreConnect, in industrial and artisanal areas it is less than 20%. Italy ranks 18th among EU countries according to the Digital Economy and Society Index 2022 (DESI), which summarises relevant indicators on Europe's digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness. Although between 2017 and 2022, Italy's score increased from 28.2 to 49.3, recording the most significant progress in the EU, it remains below the European average (52.3), such as Spain (60.8), France (53.3) and Germany (52.9).