Stop in Calabria for “Infratel meets the regions”. Pietropaolo: “We pursue digital growth to reduce IT gaps”


By John

“Infratel meets the Regions: Digital freedom and democracy in the era of infrastructures, services and connectivity”, is the theme of the initiative organized by Infratel Italia, in collaboration with the Department for Digital Transformation of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and in collaboration with ANIE SIT, the association which, within the ANIE Federation, represents companies that deal with the design and construction of technological infrastructures.

The initiative is part of a broader context for the diffusion of ultra-broadband and 5G and the implementation of the “Ultra-fast networks” intervention plans (Mission 1 – Component 2 – Investment 3), for which the Department for the transformation digital, as the owner Administration, through the agreement stipulated with Invitalia and Infratel Italia, has entrusted the implementation to Infratel. The working table, held in the gold room of the regional Citadel, involved institutions, sector operators and local communities to raise awareness among technical and institutional bodies and give impetus to construction sites linked to telecommunications infrastructures.

The Councilor for the Digital Transition of the Calabria Region also spoke at the table, Filippo Pietropaolo, who stated that “the digital growth of our region is very important and necessary for the digital growth of businesses, for public administration, for citizens. It can be done and must be done. Digital growth that the Region – underlined Pietropaolo – promotes through collaboration with local authorities and universities, primarily Unical, excellence in the digital and artificial intelligence fields”.

“The Calabria Region – he specified – has the objective of pursuing digital growth to reduce IT gaps, from a system perspective in which close collaboration is achieved at a European, national, territorial and local level. In the context of the Three-Year IT Plan, the Region intends to guarantee the creation and evolution of the infrastructures necessary for the development of IT networks and connectivity in the area through investments aimed at strengthening the modernization and efficiency of public services. Of course – Pietropaolo finally declared – the digital growth of the Region cannot take place without the installation of optical fiber in all municipalities, in homes and in industrial areas. The future of many essential services, such as healthcare and school, is digital. Work carried out by Infratel, the state concessionaire that manages the installation of optical fiber throughout Italy, then supplied and grounded by the companies that win the tenders such as Open Fiber, Tim Vodafone, Inwit, Fastwed. So today’s meeting is fundamental to understand where we are at.”

Also in the Calabrian stage of “Infratel meets the Regions”, as in the other previous events – organized in Tuscany, Lombardy, Liguria and Lazio – the need for a common effort to respect the timescales set for the implementation of all the points that the National Recovery and Resilience Plan has put in place to break down the digital divide and improve connectivity in areas of the country, an enabling factor in vital sectors such as work, school, health.

“We believe collaboration between institutions, local communities, companies and private operators is fundamental in the digitalisation process of territories – he declared Pietro Piccinetti, CEO of Infratel Italia –. We have decided to promote this path because we strongly believe that digital freedom is the fundamental right of every individual to access, use and contribute to the digital world without restrictions. Our goal is to ensure that the internet and digital technologies remain open, free and accessible to all. Digital freedom is an essential pillar of democracy, enabling the free circulation of ideas, civil participation and the expression of cultural diversity. All together we will reach this goal.”

“Given an infrastructure nearing completion, with over 150 thousand real estate units connected by Open Fiber in Calabria with both public and private funds, what remains to be addressed – he said Emanuele Briulotta, Sud Open Fiber area manager – the topic of take-up: the level of use of the latest generation telecommunications networks is in fact still low, with an adoption rate of just 19% in the Calabrian area alone. Thanks to the collaboration with institutions such as the Calabria Region, we work to spread greater awareness among the population so that full digital citizenship is achieved”. Briulotta, therefore, emphasized the fact that networks are essentially still used too little. In white areas alone the adoption rate drops to 3%.

Currently the interventions in Calabria have involved 130,595 homes out of 341,644; 480 schools out of 894; 83 health facilities.

During the initiative, the merits of some projects launched by Infratel for the Calabria Region were examined.

For what concern Plan Bul, tender 3 – it has been said – awarded the assignment of a concession for the construction, maintenance and management of the publicly owned ultra-wideband passive network in the white areas of the regions of Calabria, Puglia and Sardinia to Open Fiber. The public intervention involves 394 municipalities in the Calabria region, which will be connected with Fiber To The Home (Ftth) and/or Fixed Wireless Access (Fwa) modes: 238 municipalities in Ftth+Fwa; 156 municipalities only in Fwa mode. The funds allocated for the intervention amount to 29,805,300 euros.

Plan Italy 1 Giga in Calabria, however, it involves intervention in 404 Municipalities, which include 967,411 citizens who are the subject of the incentive tender for the creation of network infrastructures capable of providing connectivity at at least 1 Gbit/s in download and 200 Mbit/s in upload. Furthermore, the progress of the Connected School Plan – phase 1 and the Connected School Plan – phase 2 of Calabria was highlighted. The Connected School Plan – phase 1, plans to equip over 23,000 school locations with connectivity of at least 1 Gbps in downlink and uplink and a minimum guaranteed bandwidth of 100 Mbit/s symmetrical. The tender awarded 271,769,390.70. The Calabria region is part of lot 5 together with Sicily, awarded to Fastweb for an amount of 46,759,598.00 euros. In the Calabria region, 960 locations are expected to be connected.

The Connected school plan – phase 2, plans to equip over 9,000 school sites, not involved in Phase 1, with connectivity of at least 1 Gbps in downlink and uplink and a minimum guaranteed bandwidth of 200 Mbit/s symmetrical. The tender awarded 165,991,003.91 euros divided into 8 lots, the winning operators of the tender are: TIM (4 lots), Fastweb (3 lots) and Intred (1 lot). The Calabria Region is part of lot 7 together with Campania, awarded to Tim for an amount of 41,500,668.85 euros.