Ministry of Economic Development, Calabria Region, Infratel and Telecom Italia: programme launched to build the optical fibre network in Calabria to achieve the aims of the European Digital Agenda

10/21/2014 - 01:24 PM

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Telecom Italia has won the tender launched by the Calabria Region and by 2015 it will build the optical fibre passive network infrastructure in the 223 municipalities included in the project, upgrading 359 exchange areas

The total investment is over 100 million euros, including around 63.5 million from public funds, through the use of European public funds, and 36.6 million from Telecom Italia

Around 800 thousand households will be equipped with innovative digital services, with connection speeds of between 30 and 100 Megabytes per second for approximately 1 million 300 thousand inhabitants

The programme to build a new generation network in optic fibre in Calabria, with the aim of supplying ultrabroadband connectivity in 223 new municipalities to achieve the aims of the European Digital Agenda starts.

In fact, Telecom Italia has won the Calabria Region Tender to obtain grant funding for an investment programme to create new passive optic infrastructure that will enable NGAN (Next Generation Access Networks), which will be able to supply innovative services to citizens, enterprises and government. The Tender, issued by the Ministry of Economic Development through Infratel Italia, the Invitalia Group company appointed to implement the National Broadband Plan and the Ultrabroadband Strategic Project, and approved by the European Commission, envisages public funding of 63.5 million euros from the ERDF in addition to an investment of 36.6 million euros from Telecom Italia.

The plan was illustrated today by Alfonso Dattolo, Calabria Regional Commissioner for Urban Planning, Local Government and Information Society, Fulvio Parente, Telecom Italia Head of Access Operations for Southern Italy, and Salvatore Lombardo, Infratel Italia CEO.

In detail, the project presented by Telecom Italia envisages coverage by 2015 of 223 new municipalities, namely the 155 already specified by the Ministry of Economic Development and Infratel in the Tender, plus another 68 municipalities, which means it will affect approximately 1 million 300 thousand inhabitants. The municipalities involved will be able to use connections with ultrabroadband technology at speeds of 30 to 100 Megabytes per second in all the areas covered, thus accelerating access to innovative digital services for citizens, enterprises and local government.

In order to achieve this result, Telecom Italia will adapt 359 exchanges to allow around 800 thousand households to be upgraded to 30 Megabytes per second and around a thousand government offices, schools and hospitals to be upgraded to 100 Megabytes per second.

In addition to this project, co-funded by the Calabria Region, Telecom Italia is already building new generation infrastructure and services, independently and with its own investments, in Catanzaro, Reggio Calabria, Cosenza and Lamezia Terme.

In the words of Fulvio Parente, Telecom Italia Head of Access Operation Southern Italy Area - “The aim of this initiative is to contribute to accelerate the digitalisation of the Country, in line with the aims set out in the European Digital Agenda. This is an ambitious project that demonstrates how, thanks to a public-private partnership and the proactive willingness of the Local Authorities involved, it is possible to create conditions favourable to the creation of new generation networks even in municipalities that were previously excluded from the infrastructure plans of all the Operators."

The grand plan for a digital highway across the whole of Calabria is finally becoming a reality.  According to Alfonso Dattolo, Calabria Regional Commissioner for Urban Planning, Local Government and Information Society, this is strategic action for the future of the region, which cannot be allowed to lag behind the rest of the country and deserves to be put in a position to compete on the same level as the other regions. Broadband and ultrabroadband will in fact allow basic digital services to be supplied to and enjoyed by people even in geographically isolated areas, while at the same time enhancing those provided in strategic areas of the region, accelerating growth and innovation in economic activities and government offices through high quality, stable and fast telecommunication services. Our strong belief in this project which, together with others, has been a feature of our administrative activity, has led us to seek every way to streamline the authorisation procedures".

"The primary aim of the project is to build the infrastructure to enable telecoms operators to implement ultrabroadband access networks (NGANs)" - said Salvatore Lombardo, Managing Director of Infratel Italia - "Another aim, just as important, is a real and effective investment of European funds that will bring development, employment and improved quality of life to the citizens of Calabria. Mise, Infratel and the Calabria Region have adopted this mission as their own.”

Catanzaro, 21 October 2014