Description / Explanation

The project aimed at overcoming the digital divide in the neighbourhood of Coviolo through a broadband wireless infrastructure in a suburban area lacking market offers. It planned to guarantee an affordable service cost to the whole community as the funding of the infrastructure is from public sources (Municipality and regional government) while management costs are borne by the local community members. The proposal was developed within a participatory process launched by the Municipality of Reggio Emilia in Coviolo This in turn was part of the initiative "neighbourhood as commons" which started in 2015, to promote new arenas of participation for associations and individual citizens. By December 2016, 896 people had taken part in the participatory paths and 64 projects had been defined such as Coviolo Wireless, object of this proposal. Also, the project is a part of the implementation actions of the Reggio Emilia Smart City strategy. Coviolo is a neighbourhood with 2 468 inhabitants, located in a peri-urban area between the city of Reggio Emilia. Before the project implementation, the local community of Coviolo only had access to low speed ADSL Internet (2 to 5 mbps). The service was asymmetric with less than 2 mbps in upload. Moreover, it was delivered in best-effort mode, without any minimum bandwidth guaranteed. The benefits of the project are linked to ensuring the access to broadband services to all citizens even in peripheral areas and to guarantee affordable costs for the users.