Malta is edging towards rollout of a national fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network, with the government seeking expressions of interest in deploying infrastructure as a first step towards an open tender process.
The government aims to provide 100-Mbps services by 2020 to stay inline with European Union targets on broadband access. It has decided to proceed following a feasibility study by Analysys Mason covering technical and economic aspects of the network.
Business models on the table following the study include private network design, build and operation; or a joint venture approach where the government would part-own the network in conjunction with private-sector investors, which would be responsible for construction and operation of the network.
Pat Kidney, senior manager at Analysys Mason, explains the government also plans to directly control wholesale access to the network, "to foster healthy retail competition. An appropriate range of wholesale products will therefore be required to enable service providers to differentiate themselves."