The city of Milan is of strategic importance for the development of the broadband network of Telecom Italia Wireline Services, the Business Unit of Telecom Italia for fixed telephony and Internet services for firms. As Rocco Sabelli, Director of Telecom Italia Wireline Services, declared during the Milan stage of PalaTelecom, "It is precisely in Milan that the company is intensifying the development of broadband access, a project to which the most important resources are being allocated in terms of innovation, investment and know-how," "For the two-year period 2001-2002 - added Sabelli - Telecom plans to invest about 6.5 trillion lire to develop broadband services all over Italy, 500 billion of which in Milan alone."
The situation in Italy
Development of the broadband access network constitutes an extraordinary opportunity for the economic growth of the country as a whole. The strategy of Telecom Italia Wireline follows two main pathways based on customer requirements as regards transmission capacity: ADSL technology, dedicated to the broadband needs of families and small businesses, and fiber-optic access, aimed at medium and large-sized firms.
As regards ADSL access, 113 towns were already covered by the end of 2000. By the year 2002, Telecom Italia Wireline plans to reach about 2 million families and extend its coverage to 500 urban centers.
The fiber-optic network has about 3 million km of fiber for transport and over 400,000 km for access. About 2,000 firms are connected at present, a figure that is expected to reach 25,000 by the year 2002.
Broadband access in Milan
The goal is to strengthen a network that is already modern and open to the future, harnessing the potential of 250 completely digital exchanges capable of supplying advanced ISDN services, over 8 million km of copper circuits, and 500 optic rings developing about 170,000 km of fiber.
Also operative in Milan are the 20 major "ATM/IP" data nodes of the Telecom Italia Wireline network, which ensure a transmission capacity of over 200 Gigabit/s (a capacity making it possible to view over 50,000 DVD-quality films simultaneously).
Thanks to this network infrastructure, 13,000 broadband connections are already active in Milan: 12,000 in ADSL and HDSL technology on the traditional copper network and 1,000 using fiber-optic technology. Present ADSL coverage in Milan is equal to 60% of the population, while about 170,000 km of optic fiber (equivalent to 55% of the entire network in the city) have been laid by Telecom Italia Wireline. This capillary network is already capable of supplying both homes and firms with the most innovative technologies. All the city´s districts are crossed by one or more fiber-optic lines.
Such development of broadband access necessarily entails a strengthening of the backbone. For this reason Telecom Italia Wireline has begun to install new cables and sophisticated fiber-optic systems in the transport network: a cable stretching 5,000 km will connect Palermo with Milan and Turin with Venice, involving an overall total of 500,000 km of fiber.
Similar action will substantially boost the transmission capacity available for the city of Milan. In 2002 there will be over 160,000 broadband connections on the copper network and over 5,000 customers connected to the fiber-optic network.
It is due to this access and backbone infrastructure that Telecom Italia Wireline is now a leader in the field of broadband applications focused on Internet Data Centers.
One of Telecom Italia´s two Internet Data Centers on Italian territory is in fact operating in Milan, a structure with over 1,000 square meters of fully equipped space available for the new applications of Web Hosting, Web Housing, Telelearning, E-Procurament and E-Commerce.
Milan is also the key scenario for Telecom Italia Wireline in its ongoing development of many technological network innovations, from tests with Vdsl (making it possible to reach speeds of up to 26 Mbit/s on the copper network) to voice applications on Ip (Voip), which will boost the range of broadband services for residential and business clients and transform the entire voice platform to offer new services and highly advantageous possibilities of cost optimization.