Dealing with the digital divide

With many people in Lombardia suffering the negative effects of the region’s ‘digital divide’, a project was conceived to construct a broadband transport and access network in areas currently not served by telecommunications operators.

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It is hoped that the project will improve quality of life for citizens in the area by offering access to e-medicine, e-learning and e-commerce services and facilities, as well as improving business competitiveness, reducing depopulation and improving computer literacy.

Broadening the base for reliable service

The new broadband transport and access network will be durable and reliable, ensuring a continuity of service supply and full coverage as well as the capacity to withstand unfavourable weather conditions and interferences caused by other networks operating in the area.

The new infrastructure will also have the capacity to provide users with access to on-line administrative services and socio-health services. It will operate at a minimum guaranteed speed of 1 mega bit/second and 256kbps for residential users and 1.5 mega bit/second and 512kbps for commercial users, offering availability of 98%.

Given the features of the territory concerned, the fact that the population is scattered unevenly and in order to be ‘technologically neutral’, the project will use a mixture of existing technologies (wireless and wired) rather than favouring a single specific one to form the network.

Bringing the population of Po valley online

Expected to be complete by December 2012 and operational by 2015, the new infrastructures will serve at least 90% of the population in the areas concerned, 707 municipalities in the Po valley, thus bringing broadband coverage in the entire Region Lombardy from 93.7% to 99.4%. It is hoped that this will remedy to the problems brought about by the digital divide and market failure.

The project will also bring employment opportunities to the area as it will directly employ 450 people during the implementation and operation phase combined.

Ultimately, it is hoped that the project will improve quality of life for citizens in the area by improving access to online services and facilities, as well as improving business competitiveness.


Draft date

10/10/2011