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News article | Foilseachán

WiFi4EU stories: Digitalisation driving citizen and tourist connectivity in Lanusei, Italy

Digital transformation is a key goal of the municipality of Lanusei in Sardinia, Italy and providing free Wi-Fi connection is part of a broader vision to capitalise on the area’s potential.

Lanusei view with WiFi4EU logo

© Image by Anna Dudek - Getty / iStock

In the heart of Sardinia on the slopes of the Gennargentu Massif, stands the Municipality of Lanusei. With just over 5,000 inhabitants, Lanusei is the main town of Ogliastra, a region rich in history and natural beauty, combining rural mountainous areas with a splendid wild coast.

The municipality was one of the first beneficiaries of the WiFi4EU initiative.  The main reason to install a public Wi-Fi network was to strengthen the connectivity of public entities in the area and provide free Wi-Fi connection to citizens and tourists in specific sites of interest.

In the picture: Davide Burchi, Mayor of Lanusei; Renato Pilia, Councilor of Lanusei; Franco Accordino, Head of Unit "Investment in High-Capacity Networks” - European Commission; Giorgio Altieri, Head of the General Affairs Area Office of Lanusei.

Lanusei’s participation in the WiFi4EU project is part of a broader plan for the digital development of the area. The municipality has joined other initiatives to enhance the town’s connectivity, such as the "Cloud Italia" project, financed with Next Generation EU funds, for the integration of data and processes on a cloud system for the public administration, and the “Piazza Wi-Fi Italia” project, promoted by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE).

The WiFi4EU access points are located in strategic places, for example near schools and near the Lanusei hospital, which provides services to the entire Ogliastra region. 

Renato Pilia, Councillor for Programming, Computerisation, Technological Services and Youth Policies reflects:

"The WiFi4EU project has certainly contributed in bringing citizens closer to the institutionsIt gives a positive impression of the work done by the European Union regarding the fight against the digital divide and in favour of supplying better connectivity".

The municipality opted to create 4 access points to the WiFi4EU network at the archaeological site of Seleni. While the site is located a few kilometres from inhabited areas it is a key tourist destination as well as a popular venue for city events. 

The installation process of the WiFi4EU network did not present particular issues even if the connection to the network backbone required the implementation of a fibre optic ring. However, some sites, including Seleni, are connected wirelessly due to their peculiar topography.

In recent years, as in other mountainous areas, Lanusei has suffered from a  lack of connectivity due to the delays in the implementation of the MISE project "Aree Bianche" which will see the installation of FTTP fibre optic infrastructures, providing a direct connection between an internet service provider to the end user. In the meantime, the primary objective for the municipality remains to guarantee a high-quality Internet connection to all homes and socio-economic entities, while awaiting the implemention the national eGovernment plans.

In the longer term, the key idea is to exploit the potential offered by 5G and the Internet of Things in the fields of agriculture, health services and legal services.

This forward-looking vision includes the willingness of the municipal administration to participate in the next phases of the WiFi4EU project to continue a digitalisation process that broadens the opportunities for Lanusei even further, investing in quality connectivity as envisaged in the new Digital Decade Policy Programme.