UPDATE 2-Telecom Italia steps up spending at home, slows debt reduction

martes 16 de febrero de 2016 11:09 GYT

* Targets 2016-18 Italy spending of 12 bln euros

* To push broadband development, expand in multimedia

* 2015 EBITDA falls 20 pct on one-off charges, weak Brazil

* Shares fall 5 pct on weaker than expected results (Recasts, adds analyst comments, details throughout)

By Agnieszka Flak

MILAN, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia plans to step up spending on building out faster fixed and mobile networks in its home market as the government pushes to bring Italy's digital reach up to speed with the rest of Europe and help kick-start a flagging economy.

The development of a national ultra-fast broadband network is one of the top priorities of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, but the former state phone monopoly has long resisted the push, deeming it too expensive.

However, as demand for higher-margin broadband services has been on the rise and under pressure from the government, Telecom Italia accelerated its investments at home.

Outlining its new plan to 2018, the heavily indebted company said on Tuesday it would spend 12 billion euros ($13.4 billion) in Italy, including 3.6 billion to lay fibre optic cables. The target is 20 percent higher than the sum it had earmarked in its previous three-year plan.   Continuación...