Infrastructure supporting people
But above all, people need to rely on essential public services, based on infrastructures which allow operators to carry out their work and communicate effectively with the help of the network.
It is crucial that the service operates continuously and efficiently, and this is TIM's main priority now that fixed network traffic has doubled since the crisis and mobile traffic has gone up by 30%. TIM has increased the capacity of its network to manage these volumes, ensuring service continuity and reliability by using its available reserves, eliminating any possible bottlenecks and 5,000 cabinets activated to cover more than 1,000 municipalities in those areas of Italy not yet covered by its broadband network.
This same infrastructure is necessary for the emergency freephone numbers people use to get answers and information on the coronavirus (which can be found here), for the operation rooms run by the civil protection and new field hospitals. In Lombardy, the region most affected by the epidemic, TIM set up a room in one of its Milan offices in just 15 hours, with 100 workstations answering calls 24 hours a day, with the help of 60 trained volunteers who took over 700,000 calls in the first few days.
However, doctors and hospitals remain on the front line and to actively contribute to the success of the fight against the coronavirus, the TIM Foundation has decided to donate 1 million euros to San Raffaele Hospital, the Consortium of Health Research (CORIS), Spallanzani Hospital and the National Cancer Institute (IRCCS).
Digital school and remote office
With our schools closed, Italy is rapidly discovering the potential of e-learning. A tool originally created to complement traditional teaching, it has allowed students to continue their education and remain active and committed.
With Google, TIM and WeSchool, together with other partners, are helping schools, staff and teachers use free platforms to create digital classes, share content, verify learning and provide remote video lessons. In addition, a TIM help desk service offers help on how to connect devices, create accounts and manage lessons. At times like these, knowing how to use online tools is more important than ever. The help desk is just one initiative among many in Operation Risorgimento Digitale, a large web education project with an information and training programme to teach young and old Italians, North and South, how to use the internet.
And so our homes have become virtual offices, taking advantage of all the services made possible by the network, with video conferences and messaging apps designed for professionals. TIM has been experimenting with remote working for many years and it now allows 32,000 of its employees to work from home.
It is the ideal solution for our exceptional needs right now, essential to stop the spread of the epidemic and to reach as many people as possible. For this reason, TIM has provided free access to the TIM Work Smart service for two months to large companies linked to the public administration, regardless of their geographical area.
The people behind the technology
Though we're under house arrest, digital technology can keep us together. Meetings with relatives and friends have been replaced by group video calls, messaging platforms and social networks, which allow us to stay in touch with our loved ones, exchange information and empower each other. Today more than ever, Italy needs to stay connected.
And this is why TIM guarantees its maximum commitment, in compliance with all safety standards. This commitment directly involves the company and individuals: the technicians who work every day to support all our customers, health facilities, the civil protection and other bodies managing the emergency. The staff at our Data Centres keeping the systems working and serving the public administration and our main customers. The employees who spend every day monitoring the situation and stepping in when necessary, supporting initiatives like donating 1,600 mobile phones and SIM cards to prisons, to allow prisoners to stay in touch with their families.