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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
- 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
- The Italian strategy for next generation access network 2015 (Strategia Nazionale per la Banda Ultra-Larga, SNBUL) (pdf)
- The 5G Trial
- Italy Digital Plan – Super-fast broadband 2012 (pdf)
- Italian national state aid scheme – Strategia Banda Ultralarga (pdf)
- Website of the Italian Ultra Broadband Strategy
- Study on National Broadband Plans in the EU-28
- Guide to High-Speed Broadband Investment
- Study on retail broadband access prices (as of February 2015)
- Fixed broadband prices (as of February 2015)
- Study on broadband coverage in Europe (as of 2014)
- Study on broadband coverage in Europe (as of 2015)
- Strategia Nazionale per la Banda Ultra-Larga 2015 (SNBUL) (pdf)
- Next generation access network strategy documents
- National Broadband Plan 2011 (pdf)