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What happens if the G7 arrives

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This is the sixth time that Italy has taken over the rotating G7 Presidency since the foundation of this summit which gathers the most industrialized economies, plus the European Union, which is a non-enumerated member.  
The first meeting was held in 1975, when French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing invited the Heads of State and of Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, the United States and Japan to Rambouillet to discuss the economic and financial crisis triggered by the oil shock of 1973-1974.
The style and format of the talks at Rambouillet set the tone for the way the Summits continue to be held today, based on leaders adopting a relaxed approach with one another, discussing issues with candor and addressing the main themes on the international agenda. Meetings are brief and venues intimate. The leaders’ trusted aides (the so-called “sherpas”) draft the text and the resulting joint declaration, signed by the participating Heads of State and of Government, enshrines high level political pledges.
The next year, 1976, US President Gerald R. Ford convened a second meeting, in Puerto Rico, during which the group formally welcomed Canada among its members, whence its original title: the Group of Seven, or G7.
Going back to 2017, this year many Italian cities hosted, or will host, several ministerial meetings, which will be attended by the G7 ministers in charge of the topics addressed.
The next  three meeting will all be held in Turin: 25-26 September, Industry and ICT; 28-29 September, Science; 30 September – 1 October, Labor.
On May 26-27, Taormina hosted the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government of the G7.
Political summits and other big events, such as the Olympics or Expo, often represent an occasion to discuss the pros and cons of being an organiser.
For the locations that host them they are an opportunity to attract resources and attention, with the creation or strengthening of infrastructure that then remains for the community of that place, but they are also, in difficult times like ours, a sort of stress test.
Let’s take the case of Taormina and see what we have done.
Very briefly: strengthening the fixed and mobile infrastructure, activating new services, creating advanced ICT platforms, with an investment of over 3 million euros to give organisers of the G7 and all citizens a cutting edge telecommunications system.
Going into detail.
In November of last year we started work on fibre deployment which would have connected 34 street cabinets to the respective exchanges and reached around 6,300 properties, including 16 Public Administration sites (schools, institutions, police forces...)
The work was part of the UBB - Ultrabroadband - project as we won the Infratel Tender for the Sicily Region to create a fibre network in 142 municipalities. Planned investments:  more than 106 million euros, 73 million of which come from public funds made available by the Regional Government and 33 million have been allocated by TIM.
Once the “passive” optic infrastructure, capable of bringing innovative services to citizens, businesses and the public administration, had been created, Taormina turned on the turbocharge, so to speak, and in May we activated advanced performances on the mobile and fixed network slightly anticipating the timing with respect to the normal implementation plan for services once the infrastructure has been created.
Fixed network: Taormina has become one of the 1,300 municipalities, out of around 1,900 covered by our fibre, to have active ultrabroadband services using FTTC technology (Fiber To The Cabinet) with speeds of up to 200 Megabits thanks to the technological upgrade we are gradually bringing to the municipalities covered by the new network.
We also created dedicated connections, again in fibre, with 1Gbps circuits necessary for video signals and network access for the many delegations occupying the hotels and conference rooms.
Cloud: we have created the cloud computing infrastructure of the event's portal (http://www.g7italy.it/it) for the Prime Minister's Office.
Mobile network: we have activated 4.5G, with mobile browsing speeds of 500 Megabits. Since July, in Taormina and 6 other large municipalities, this speed has increased to 700 Megabits with enabled devices. 
The 3G/4G network has also been strengthened with site interventions and the use of Small Cells, small antennae with low environmental impact capable of emitting the signal even to areas that are difficult to reach with normal radio base stations. The old saying “there’s no signal” or “there’s no coverage here” no longer applies to Taormina or along the motorway generally used to get there, the A18 Messina-Catania, tunnels included.

Public Safety LTE Services

In Sicily we are used to seeing Canadair amphibious aircraft in the summer sky going back and forth between the sea and land to put out fires. But in May drones were seen flying in the sky over Taormina, together with helicopters for video surveillance.
This was part of “Public Safety LTE,” a package of Public Safety services on the fixed and mobile network for the Police Headquarters for which we are the only technological partner. Using the LTE mobile network, agents can send high quality video footage through a dedicated APP to the operational exchange, exploiting the uplink section with a capacity of up to 50 Mbit/s with latest generation smartphones and video cameras with specialised encoders.   ​

It is possible to send each Police Headquarters up to 12 simultaneous video flows.  The videos are collected in real time and displayed on the PS LTE WEB console, localized on a geographic map and integrated with the ICT solution for flows from fixed video cameras.
Push to Talk mechanisms are also provided for direct communication between agents in Walkie Talkie and private chat mode, and image sharing between the operational exchange and field agents.
The service has now been provided for the Police Headquarters of Milan, Rome, Naples, Bari, Turin, Bologna, Palermo, Catania and Taormina. It was used for the first time in 2014 for The European Semester and then Expo 2015, Jubilee 2016 … up to the recent G7.

When the G7 is over the population of Taormina will still be able to use services such as telepresence, video surveillance, and cloud computing services for businesses. It has tested a smart city model with a local administration equipped with security and territorial monitoring services, infomobility and sensor networks for environmental remote sensing.

 

Another positive aspect is that it involves non-intrusive technologies and mobile devices, so as not to alter the timeless charm of this place.

Here the past is so much stronger than the present, that one seems remote like the immortals, looking back at the world from their otherworld.

D H Lawrence, 1920