Lucca is one of ’s first provinces to publish a plan for advanced broadband that will bridge the so-called “second level” digital divide and lay the foundations for a next-generation fibre-optic network in ’s papermaking and stoneworking districts.
The Province’s administration and Telecom Italia signed a contract after Telecom Italia won the call for tenders to cover the industrial districts. The process now moves on to a call for tenders to build cable ducts for the new network infrastructure.
Province President Stefano Baccelli declared: “The provincial administration has almost completed cabling up its rural and mountainous areas in a €2.3 million project promoted by the regional administration. Now, it is moving on to the next stage: bringing the fibre network to the area’s industrial districts. This initiative has also benefitted from European Union support, after it authorized public funding, and will put us at the head of the pack in . The project is now being realized after surveys and in-depth investigations, meetings with local level government and, crucially, the involvement of a private partner – we have chosen Telecom Italia.”
The new extremely high capacity fibre-optic network offers between 10 and 100 megabytes, and a minimum guaranteed bandwidth of at least 2Mb.
The project has been conceived for SMEs in the papermaking and stoneworking districts. The network services on offer are targeted at developing ICT in these industries, and include access to web-based video surveillance services, remote machinery management (including the use of ‘virtual reality’ to develop technological applications or new forms of marketing) and, of course, VoIP calling and internet.
The Provincial councillor for economic development, Francesco Bambini, explains: “A total of €6.8 million has been earmarked for the development of this new network: €3.6 million of the investment is coming from the regional administration, €1.2 million from the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di , and €1.8 million from the Provincial administration. The private sector will be adding an estimated €6 million-€7 million to this figure, bumping up the total investment figure to at least €14 million.”
The contract signed by the Province and Telecom Italia lays the groundwork for this public/private partnership, and covers infrastructure leasing and the payment of a contribution. The process will ensure that the two industrial districts are equipped with leading-edge infrastructure that provides ultra-broadband connectivity.
Under the agreement, the Provincial administration is responsible for building the cable ducts along an agreed route that links the province’s main industrial hubs, and guarantees that “termination points” will be no further than 500m away from significant concentrations of enterprises in the papermaking and stoneworking districts.
Telecom Italia will subsequently lay fibre along the cable ducts built by the Provincial administration, upgrade its exchanges and equip termination points with devices and componentry that ensures advanced performance and specifications that meet the standards requested by the Province. The result will be one of ’s first industrial district-specific fibre networks.
Lucca, 21 september 2010