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Italy court rejects request to suspend broadband tenders-document

ROME Oct 6 An Italian court has thrown out a request to suspend tenders to build broadband networks in underserved areas ahead of a ruling over an appeal by Swisscom unit Fastweb, a document seen by Reuters showed on Thursday.

Fastweb has appealed a clause forbidding companies pre-qualifying for the tenders on their own from teaming up subsequently with other players.

Fastweb had sought a suspension of the tenders ahead of a court decision scheduled for Dec. 14 on its request.

Fastweb did not comment.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has placed the project to connect homes to superfast Internet services at the heart of his agenda in an effort to close the digital gap with Europe and spur economic growth.

As part of his plans Rome has earmarked 4 billion euros to roll out high-speed fiber networks in so-called economically non-viable areas and has drawn up tenders to choose operators. (Reporting by Alberto Sisto and Stefano Rebaudo, writing by Stephen Jewkes)

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