The EU funding, covering 60% of the project’s eligible costs, will help bring fast internet access to areas where it is currently not available.More than Italian 7,000 municipalities will be covered, totalling 12.5 million inhabitants and almost one million companies.
The project is part of the Italian Digital Plan – Ultra-broadband, the national strategy for next-generation access networks. It aims to ensure connection speeds of at least 100Mbps for 85% of Italian households and all public buildings – in particular schools and hospitals – and of at least 30Mbps for all by 2020.
The project will in particular cover so-called ‘white areas”’ where market forces cannot deliver the necessary infrastructure upgrade, in all 20 Italian regions. The project should be completed by the end of 2020.
Corina Creţu, Commissioner for regional policy said: “This EU-funded broadband project, which covers 20% of the Italian population, means unprecedented business opportunities, better public services and better quality of life for the Italian people. It shows what the EU is really about: working to improve everyday life for citizens, very concretely.”
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for digital economy and society, said: “A high quality broadband infrastructure is essential in today’s economy and society. Citizens will benefit fully from the Digital Single Market once they have unrestricted access to the best performing networks, which enable the widespread access to new products, services and applications. Such projects lay the foundations for an inclusive and competitive digital Europe.”