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Fastweb gives up on IPTV in Italy

Fastweb will drop its IPTV service later this year, according to a report in the Italian daily, Il Sole 24 Ore, because of poor customer take up. This looks plausible given that after six years the service still has only 150,000 subscribers, despite a joint marketing deal with Sky Italia that was reported to have added 71,000 customers in its first year of operation.

The service has fallen victim of Italy’s recession, with the economy forecast by its own government to contract by 1.2 percent in 2012. But, it also reflects the failure of IPTV to gain traction in Italy, in stark contrast to neighboring France, which was the world IPTV leader in subscriptions until recently being overtaken by China.

Indeed, Fastweb is not the first to pull the plug on IPTV in Italy. In January 2009, Italian Telco Tiscali closed its IPTV service “Tiscali TV.”