Italy €6bn broadband plan
March 4, 2015
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
The Italian government has adopted a €6 billion plan to modernise its Internet network and boost broadband access by 2020 in compliance with EU objectives.
However, the government did not impose a deadline on operators to replace their copper networks with fibre, as some had expected. Economic Development Ministser Federica Guidi said it will be on the operators to choose the most efficient technology.
Under EU objectives, all citizens would have access to an Internet network with a capacity of 30 Mbps per second by 2020, while at least half of households would have access to 100 Mbps networks.
However, according to Guidi, the ambition is to go beyond the Digital Agenda for Europe, reaching 45-55 per cent of the population with FTTB/FTTH and bringing 100 Mbps to 85 per cent of the population by 2020.
Italy would be divided in to four areas of intervention, from cities urban to rural areas. The plan would bring together different ministries as well as different sources of finance, including money from Regions and private operators.
A report published last year by the US consultancy Akamai found that Italy came 48th among countries in the EMEA region in terms of Internet speed and labelled it the slowest in the European EU.