Telecom Italia progresses digital divide scheme

Telecom Italia is making progress in a scheme to address coverage gaps in fixed broadband, connecting almost half the 800,000 consumers lacking access in the country’s Lombardy region.
The incumbent telco has now deployed ADSL to 327,000 people and predicts it will have eliminated the digital divide in the area within the next year. Telecom Italia embarked on the rollout last year in conjunction with the regional government, in a bid to achieve coverage targets contained in the European Union’s Digital Agenda.
Subscribers are being offered access speeds ranging from 7-Mbps to 20-Mbps, after the operator upgraded 237 exchanges and roadside cabinets. The scheme, which is due to be completed by mid-2013, will ultimately see 918 exchanges and cabinets updated and 3,700 km of fiber laid at a total cost of €95 million.
“This project shows that we can overcome the nation’s digital divide by adopting a virtuous model undertaken through tangible commitment by institutions and enterprise,” notes Giovanni Moretto, head of access operations for Telecom Italia’s north-west area.