Telecom Italia announces that it has published the first Yearbook on broadband penetration in the Country with the objective of recording, with total transparency, actual Italian broadband coverage. The Yearbook will be sent in the coming days to all the Presidents of the Regions and Provinces and will be made available to the Mayors of all the Italian Municipalities.
With this initiative Telecom Italia reiterates its commitment to the development of telecommunications networks and the support of those virtuous territories that intend to make use of such infrastructure to improve the level of wellbeing of their citizens, make their production systems more competitive, and raise the quality of their services through the efficiency of public administration. Telecom Italia believes in fact, that the starting point for this course consists in the sharing of a development plan for the coverage of broadband services in local areas.
The report, which will be updated annually, contains broadband coverage data for every Region and illustrates all the network architecture that offer broadband services (xDSL, fibre optic, mobile broadband, Wi-Fi, Hiperlan and Wi-Max). In particular, the report describes what was put into practice by Telecom Italia from 2006 (the year that the Anti Digital Divide project began) relating to all the agreements signed with the Regions and the Municipalities as well as the objectives for growth reached, and traces a path that, in collaboration with local and national institutions, will enable broadband to be brought to all Italians.
To confront the issue of digital divide, Telecom Italia has launched a plan for growth for broadband coverage taking charge directly of the necessary investments in order to adjust its network infrastructure. This initiative, launched autonomously by the company in 1996, and which will bring Adsl coverage to 97.7% by 2011, has allowed broadband availability to grow in just a few years from 87% to 96% of the national territory, enabling around 70% of the over 3,150 municipalities that at the end of 2005 remained without this service.
Telecom Italia has also launched a series of measures to overcome the digital divide in so called “market failure” areas, identifying the necessary combined “public-private” interventions. Also in this direction, two paths have been followed: the first characterised by a “centric” approach, together with the public company Infratel (for underdeveloped areas of the country), and the second based on a “local” approach through agreements with single Regions with forms of financing through public bids.
It is thanks to its experience that Telecom Italia believes that to finally overcome the digital divide it is necessary to have a territorial balancing of the communications networks which cannot do without adopting the new models of “Public-Private Partnership”, with a strong dialogue between local and central government.
“The creation of the Yearbook – underlined the CEO of the company, Franco Bernabè – reiterates Telecom Italia’s wish to guarantee maximum transparency over data and development plans for broadband coverage. Only in this way will it be possible to fully take up the challenge that will allow a fundamental change in paradigm, the move from the digital divide phase to that of digital prosperity. The digital divide is a priority issue that Telecom Italia wants to help resolve with important investments so not to leave to the State the burden of such importance to the Country. Our objective is to guarantee broadband coverage, giving priority to industrial districts and to areas where business have a greater need of connection. We want to make it possible for Italian companies to be competitive and we will dedicate all the necessary resources to this objective”.
Rome, 28 December 2009