Telecom Italia is starting up its next-generation fibre-optic ultra-broadband network in Catania. The announcement was made today at a ceremony attended by Mayor of Catania Raffaele Stancanelli, President of the Science and Technology Park of Sicily Marco Romano, Telecom Italia CEO Franco Bernabè, and Telecom Italia Chief Technology Officer Oscar Cicchetti.
As part of Telecom Italia’s fibre investment plan for building Italy’s next generation access network (NGAN), the company will be installing fibre connections in six Italian cities by the end of 2010, thirteen cities by the end of 2012, and achieve 50% population coverage (138 cities) by the end of 2018. Catania will be followed by Milan and Rome. By the end of the year, Telecom Italia will also commence fibre-optic network construction work in Bari, Turin and Venice.
Telecom Italia CEO Franco Bernabè stated: “Telecom Italia is keen to drive innovation across Italy. Local competitivity is increasingly bound up with an ability to exist online, and to develop new ways of working and leveraging the new economy. Building ultra-broadband infrastructure and, above all, fostering the take-up of the services that this infrastructure enables, can become a significant driver of sustainable economic growth and enhance quality of life.”
From next week, an initial group of Telecom Italia customers will start using trial 100 Megabit per second links that enhance existing broadband services and pave the way for the next generation of applications such as HDTV, telepresence, cloud computing services for business, and intelligent city services such as security, local monitoring, infomobility, and sensing networks for remote environmental monitoring.
By the end of 2011, Telecom Italia will have connected 34,000 properties to fibre in the Borgo and Ognina districts of Catania. This figure will rise to more than 46,000 properties by the end of 2012. Under the development plan, the main areas of the municipality will have fibre optic links by the end of 2013, by which time the next-generation fibre-optic network will cover 63,000 properties, corresponding to around 150,000 citizens.
Marketing of 100 Megabit services over the new fibre-optic network will commence once trials have been completed, dependent on the industry regulatory authority’s approval of the company’s offering.
The next-generation access network is being developed alongside the existing network, and will lead to a completely upgraded network designed for the optimal carriage of different types of traffic (data, video, voice, etc.) and their very different bandwidth requirements.
Existing infrastructure will be leveraged to lay fibre optic cable. Where appropriate, innovative low environmental impact digging techniques and tools will be deployed. “Mini trenches” only require excavations a few centimetres wide and 30 cm deep. This technique can reduce socio-environmental costs (citizen and public service inconvenience) by as much as 80%, reduce workplace accidents by 67%, and bring down the amount of time required to build telecommunications infrastructure by 80%.
Catania, 29 October 2010