The Italian strategy for next generation access network aims at developing a high speed access network to maximize the population take up of an infrastructure able to guarantee services above 100 Mbps and to ensure availability of services above 30 Mbps for all by 2020. Italy adopted a national state aid scheme to support ultra-broadband in market failure areas.

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Summary of broadband development in Italy

Italy’s national ultra-broadband plan, the Strategy for next generation access network (Strategia Nazionale per la Banda Ultra-Larga, SNBUL), was approved by the Council of Ministers in March 2015. It aims at developing a high speed access network. Within the frame of SNBUL, Italy adopted a national state aid scheme, approved by the European Commission in June 2016, to support ultra-broadband in market failure areas.Within this market failure state aid scheme, two tenders have been published in 2016. The first tender has been assigned in March 2017 covering Abruzzo, Molise, Emilia Romagna, Lombardia, Toscana and Veneto regions.

There is also a concept for boosting optic fiber roll out and implementing fixed and mobile broadband. A 5G trial was launched in March 2017 to implement infrastructures and services in 5 cities: metropolitan area of Milan, Prato, L’Aquila, Bari and Matera. In order to antagonize the digital divide there has been an auction for spectrum resources in the 800 MHz band that supports the deployment of Long Term Evolution Technologies (LTE) in remote areas.

National broadband plan and policy

Responsible authorities

  • The department of Telecommunications (Comunicazioni) within the Ministry of Economic Development (MiSE, Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico) is the main body responsible for planning and implementing Italy’s national broadband plan. The MiSE is responsible for telecommunications infrastructures, adopts measures defined in the SNBUL and coordinates the activities of all the involved actors both public and private. MiSE also manages the Italian National Registry of the infrastructures (SINFI).
  • The role of the public sector in the development of the entire ultra-broadband policy in Italy is coordinated by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM) through the Committee for the spread of ultra-broadband (COBUL), which is composed of the PCM, the Ministry of Economic Development (MiSE), Infratel Italia Spa and the Agency for Digital Italy (AgID).
  • The Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale (AgID) assists in domains related to issues of public administration, digital connectivity to public offices and special public users, and integrating connectivity with advanced digital services.
  • AGCOM, the sector regulator, has consultancy tasks and acts within its domain of regulation of NGA access, price conditions and technical standards.

Main aims for broadband development

The 2015 Italian strategy for next generation access network (SNBUL) has the general objective of developing a future-proof telecommunications infrastructure through the country. The plan intends to:

  • bring connectivity with a minimum of 100 Mbps for up to 85% of the Italian population,
  • guarantee coverage of at least 30 Mbps to all citizens,
  • cover at least at 100 Mbps offices and public buildings,
  • bring high speed broadband in the industrial areas.

The tools implemented within the SNBUL strategy are:

  • administrative simplification and reduction of burdens,
  • creation of tax exemption tools for infrastructures operations,
  • stimuli for triggering the demand,
  • direct public sector execution of works in market failure areas,
  • land registry creation (SINFI) to locate all the infrastructures above and below the ground.

Main measures for broadband development

  • In March 2017 Italy launched a 5G trial to implement infrastructures and services in 5 cities: metropolitan area of Milan, Prato, L’Aquila, Bari and Matera.
  • State aid measure (SA41647(2016/N): A planned total budget of EUR 4 billion composing of national and regional funds has been made available to build a passive public infrastructure managed with a wholesale-only model in market failure areas and opened to all the operators. Further measures are under study to match the desired targets in grey and black areas too.
  • To speed up the diffusion of broadband networks, Italy implemented the EU Directive 61/2014 “on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks” by adopting the Legislative Decree n. 33 in February 2016.
  • Italian authorities have also reassessed the market demand and the existing use of the 3600-3800 MHz band and adopted the tender rules in order to assign different kind of lots for urban and rural coverage in 2015. This was done in order to sustain the diffusion of both fixed and mobile broadband networks. A website for strategy for ultra-broadband has been set and launched in March 2016 in order to increase the transparency of the governmental action and to update the citizens step by step towards the 2020 final targets.
  • In August 2015, the inter-ministerial committee for economic programming (CIPE) committed a total amount of EUR 5 billion of public funding to sustain the SNBUL, allocating EUR 2.2 billion to cover the market failure (white) areas. In these white areas in particular, the state aid scheme provides a direct model of investment to build a passive public infrastructure managed with a wholesale-only model and open to all operators.
  • Broadband mapping: the main broadband mapping portal for Italy was set up by MiSE, provides details on levels of coverage up to the municipal level, the time frame of public interventions, the technical parameters, the bureaucratic permit profiles as well as the types of civil works carried out in each lot

National and regional broadband financial instruments

  • EUR 5 billion of national funds (FSC) for actions including white, grey and black areas
  • EUR 1.6 billion from 18 ERDF Operational Programmes (POR) and 21 EAFRD Development Rural Programs (PSR)
  • EUR 233 million from a National Operating Programme including funding of ultra-broadband investments to set up 100 Mbps connections of business companies and enterprises in industrial areas

Data on broadband development and technologies in Italy

For the latest data on broadband coverage, subscriptions and penetrations, coverage of different broadband technologies and costs check the scoreboard reports and the country reports of the Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI).

Spectrum assignments for wireless broadband

Check the table (xls) for details on spectrum assignments (frequencies) for wireless broadband (WBB).

National publications and press documents

English

Italian

    Contact information

    Ministry of Economic Development (Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico)

    Address: Via Veneto 33, 00187 Rome, Italy
    Contact via email
    Phone: +39 06 47051
    Website

    Agency for Digital Italy (Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale, AgID)

    Address: Via Liszt 21, 00144 Rome, Italy
    Contact via email
    Phone: +39 06 852 641
    Website

    Authority for Communications Guarantees (Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni, AGCOM)

    Address: Via Isonzo 21/b, 00198 Rome, Italy
    Contact via email
    Phone: +39 06 696 441 11
    Website

    Country information - Italy

    Team responsible
    Published: 
    2 May 2014
    Last update: 
    20 July 2017