Ministry of Economic Development, Puglia Region, Infratel and Telecom Italia: programme launched to build the optical Fibre Network in Puglia to achieve the aims of the European Digital Agenda

02/16/2015 - 00:00 PM

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Telecom Italia has won the Tender launched by Infratel on behalf of the Puglia region and, by the first half of 2016, will build an optical fibre passive network infrastructure in the 148 municipalities included in the project, upgrading 192 exchange areas

The total investment is 95 million euros, 61.7 million from public funds and 33.3 million by Telecom Italia

Over 1.2 million buildings will be equipped with innovative digital services, with connection speeds of between 30 and 100 Megabits per second for approximately 2.7 million inhabitants

The programme to build a new generation network in optic fibre, with the aim of supplying ultrabroadband connectivity in 148 new municipalities to achieve the aims of the European Digital Agenda starts in Puglia.

The project was illustrated today by Nichi Vendola, President of the Puglia Region, Giuseppe Recchi, Chairman of Telecom Italia and Salvatore Lombardo, CEO of Infratel Italia.

This important infrastructural intervention, along with the development plan of Telecom Italia's NGAN (Next Generation Access Network), will cover 88% of the region, making Puglia one of the most advanced regions in Italy in terms of new generation technological solutions.

“Our mission is to lead the digital development and transformation of Italy – underlined Giuseppe Recchi, Chairman of Telecom Italia – and this important initiative confirms our role as a technological innovator and enabler. To support development in the region all over the territory, we are working towards the goal of offering the most modern ultrabroadband infrastructures to families, businesses and local governments. Therefore, we will continue our commitment to accelerating the implementation of the Digital Agenda by investing heavily in new technologies and continuing our work in this direction, also in sinergy with Infratel and local governments”.

“Today we have a South that is working and has proven to be one of the nation's most advanced regions – said Nichi Vendola, President of the Puglia Region –. A South that is implementing an ultrabroadband network as though it were exercising the fundamental rights of its citizens. The Puglia Region intends to bridge the gap that still exists today between people who are connected and people who are disconnected from the rest of the world, in other words between who can have access to knowledge and aspire to the chance of a decent income and who is excluded from that knowledge. This is what I mean when I say that for us technological innovation is extraordinarily decisive for successfully moving towards true social innovation”.

“After Campania, Molise and Calabria, Puglia is the fourth region to begin creating a new ultrabroadband network – said Salvatore Lombardo, CEO of Infratel Italia –. In line with the provisions of the European Digital Agenda, the citizens of Puglia will finally be able to use 30-Megabit services. The intervention, which is co-financed by Telecom Italia and the Puglia Region, is part of the National Ultrabroadband Strategic Plan”.

In fact, Telecom Italia has won the Puglia Region Tender to obtain grant funding for an investment programme to create new passive optic infrastructure that will enable NGAN, 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 61.7 million euros from public funds, in addition to an investment of 33.3 million euros from Telecom Italia.

In detail, the project presented by Telecom Italia envisages coverage by the first half of 2016 of 148 new municipalities, namely the 45 already specified by the Ministry of Economic Development and Infratel in the Tender, plus another 103 municipalities, which means it will affect approximately 2.7 million inhabitants, through over 5 thousand kilometres of optic fibre. In all the areas covered the municipalities involved will be able to use an ultrabroadband infrastructure that will allow for connections at speeds of 30 to 100 Megabits per second, thus accelerating access to innovative digital services for citizens, businesses and local governments.

To achieve this result, Telecom Italia will be upgrading 192 exchanges, which will allow more than 1.2 million buildings to be enabled to 30 Megabits per second. Moreover, more than 1,100 buildings - including 390 of Puglia's central and local government buildings, 185 armed forces buildings, about 550 schools and school system offices, as well as over 40 hospitals and health facilities - to be enabled to 100 Megabits per second.

Telecommunication networks are the central nervous system of all modern countries and ultrabroadband will be the supporting infrastructure of the region's entire economic and social system, making Puglia a more competitive, fast-moving and agile region with a more efficient bureaucracy – said Loredana Capone, Regional Commissioner for Economic Development – Since 2011, the Puglia Region has been following its own vision of broadband and ultrabroadband, seen as an instrument to allow its citizens to access both private and governmental digital services, those that already exist and those being designed for the future by governments, businesses and young researchers, who may find new job opportunities thanks to this new infrastructure. We are convinced that the future is in our own hands and that the people of Puglia will use the ultrabroadband highway for new ideas and new projects that will make life better for all”.

Along with this project, which is co-financed by the Region, Telecom Italia has already independently financed and created new generation infrastructures in Puglia in the cities of Bari, Brindisi, Foggia, Lecce and Taranto. Confirming the advanced level of the infrastructure, these five cities are already offering ultrabroadband services to families and businesses, while new fibre optic network is now being laid in the cities of Andria e Barletta.  

Bari, 16 February 2015