Summary of broadband development in Italy
The Italian Strategy for Ultra Broadband Towards the Gigabit Society was approved in May 2021 and plans intervention in several areas to provide connectivity for those who do not have access to very high capacity networks so far. Funds to implement the measures were earmarked through the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan. An implementing decree for the "School Plan" and the "Family Voucher Plan", with EUR 600 million to be spent, was signed in August 2020.
The 5G band auctions for 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz spectrum took place in 2018, with licenses valid till end 2037. Vodafone and TIM launched 5G services in June 2019, Wind Tre in October 2020 and Iliad in December 2020.
National broadband plan and policy
- The department of Telecommunications (Comunicazioni) within the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy (Ministero delle Imprese e del Made in Italy) is the main body responsible for planning and implementing Italy’s national broadband plan. The ministry is responsible for telecommunications infrastructures, adopts measures defined in the SNBUL and coordinates the activities of all the involved actors both public and private. It also manages the Italian National Registry of the infrastructures (SINFI).
- The Agency for Digital Italy (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.
- 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 high-speed broadband (COBUL), which is composed of the PCM, the MiSE, Infratel Italia Spa and AgID.
- AGCOM, the sector regulator, has consultancy tasks and acts within its domain of regulation of NGA access, price conditions and technical standards.
Main aims and measures for broadband development
The Italian Strategy for Ultra Broadband Towards the Gigabit Society, May 2021, has seven intervention areas: a) Plan for white areas, b) Voucher plan, c) Plan Italy 1 Giga, d) Italy 5G Plan, e) Connected Schools Plan, g) Connected Health Plan, and h) Minor Islands Plan.
The Plan Italy 1 Giga, with planned allocation EUR 3.8 billion, aims to provide 1 Gbps in download and 200 Mbps upload speeds in grey and market failure areas, to be determined after the completion of a mapping exercise. In compliance of the principle of technological neutrality it is planned to cover a total of 8.5 million households by 2026.
The Italy 5G Plan, with an allocation of EUR 2.02 billion aims to incentivise the deployment of 5G mobile networks in areas of market failure.
National and regional broadband financial instruments and measures
The Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan allocates EUR 6.7 billion for the implementation of the Strategy for Ultra Broadband. The plan provides allocations for the following five projects:
- Italy 1 Giga,
- Italy 5G,
- Connected schools, aiming to provide the state-of-the-art connectivity (at least 1 Gbps) to the approximately 9,000 schools,
- Connected health care facilities, which intends to cover approximately 12,000 hospitals and healthcare facilities (at least 1 Gbps and up to 10 Gbps connectivity), and
- Connected smaller islands, aiming to deliver adequate connectivity to 18 smaller islands through submarine fibre cables.
Italy’s national roadmap for the implementation of the connectivity toolbox includes several reforms, in particular on streamlining permit granting procedures for civil works, improving transparency and reinforcing the capabilities of the single information point, as well as expanding the right of access to existing physical infrastructure.
The Italian voucher scheme of total EUR 610 million will provide aid in the form of vouchers to SMEs that will subscribe to broadband services capable of ensuring download speeds of at least 30 megabits per second (Mbps).
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
For details on harmonised spectrum assignments consult the European 5G Observatory.
National publications and press documents
- Europe's Digital Progress Report
- Study on National Broadband Plans
- Guide to High-Speed Broadband Investment
- Broadband Connectivity Reports and Analyses
- Mobile and fixed broadband prices in Europe
- Study on broadband coverage in Europe
- Strategia Italiana per la Banda Ultralarga “Verso la Gigabit Society”, 25 maggio 2021
- Sistema Informativo Nazionale Federato delle Infrastrutture (SINFI)