Invitalia, Telecom Italia and Italtel have signed a Development Agreement worth a total of more than €61 million to extend the broadband network and foster leading-edge services in Sicily.
Telecom Italia is investing more than €41 million to increase fixed-line and mobile broadband network capacity throughout Sicily, replacing copper network infrastructure with more fibre optics to boost leading-edge services. The project also paves the way for future next-generation broadband network development.
Italtel is investing €20 million: €18 million to build a software-led platform for video, voice and internet services over the latest generation of networks, and €2 million to diversify output at the Carini premises in Palermo, where it will build out infrastructure for a software factory and an engineering hub to produce industrial-grade software-led products.
Presented by Telecom Italia and Italtel, the plan is being co-funded by Invitalia, which is contributing around €18 million of funds from the Ministry of Economic Development.
Invitalia CEO Domenico Arcuri says: “This agreement is a big technology boost for the whole of Sicily, fostering the creation of what will potentially be a tool for enterprise, the institutions and citizens to achieve growth and foster knowledge, leveraging the next-generation network. The Development Agreement managed by our agency and funded by the Ministry of Economic Development is an effective approach because of its streamlined procedures and a timescale better suited to local needs.”
Roberto Opilio, Head of Technology at Telecom Italia, says: “This venture offers confirmation that a public/private partnership and synergies between industrial groups are vital to support the weaker parts of the country, particularly at challenging times like the present. The building of technologically-advanced telecommunications infrastructure is a key driver of greater competitivity and local development.”
Stefano Pileri, Italtel CEO, notes: “This Development Agreement project is a significant step in digitizing and fostering the dissemination of leading-edge services – a step that Italy must take, particularly in its southern regions. For Italtel, taking part in this project is important for two reasons: on the one hand it is a fine opportunity for our Palermo research hub; on the other, it gives us a chance to fully leverage our technological expertise and R&D capacity in groundbreaking network and next-generation services for video, voice and data.”
This is the fourth Development Agreement to be signed in 2013. The first three, all in the Campania region, attracted investments of more than €100 million.
Rome, 21 November 2013