Adtran discusses how Italy’s Digitization Investment project alongside its Connectivity Voucher Scheme fits in with the Open Disaggregated model of invest as you grow which will allow operators of all sizes to launch gigabit services in any part of Italy be it rural or cities without over investing.

The ultimate goal is to create an interconnected and digitized country, in which private users can take advantage of essential and innovative services, businesses can improve their sustainable productivity and have the opportunity to innovate continuously, and in which society itself can benefit from tools to improve the well-being of all its components.

To achieve this vision, it is necessary to create the conditions for adapting infrastructures throughout the national territory, promoting in particular the laying of the fiber as close as possible to fixed and mobile users; but it is also necessary to continuously stimulate the demand for digital goods and services (market pull), among citizens and businesses.

The latest initiative of the Ministry for Economic Development (MISE), managed by Infratel Italia and active since 1 March last, fits into this context: the connectivity voucher for businesses, dedicated to encouraging the digitization of the production sector throughout the national territory.

This is an economic contribution for businesses (micro, small and medium-sized) ranging from € 300 to € 2500, depending on the characteristics of the internet connection chosen. The contribution can be requested and paid directly by operators through their commercial channels. There are two essential prerequisites to be able to request it:

  1. The company must make a step change, that is, it must choose a connectivity with higher performance than the current one
  2. The company must choose the connectivity with the best performance available at its own premise.

The emphasis is therefore on connectivity performance; this becomes clearer when we look at what the value of the bonus paid depends on. The parameters that determine it are two: maximum download speed and minimum guaranteed bandwidth. The bonus is paid according to the scheme below.

The parameters of the new contract determine the amount of the voucher, in particular if the company will enter into a contract with a maximum speed exceeding 1Gb / s, the value of the contribution increases significantly, going from 500 € to € 2000.

The emphasis is therefore on a connectivity going beyond 1Gb/s, seen as a future proof enabler of a virtuous path towards full digitalization of the entire production sector.

This approach is similar to the one used by the ministry for the recent tender about the ultra-broadband plan in gray areas (in that case we are talking about speeds greater than or equal to 1Gb / s). Moreover, Italy is not alone in this area: we are witnessing in various European countries (for example in Germany and the United Kingdom) a transition towards "fiber to the home" (FTTH) architectures, and in this context the multigiga is already available both to the end user and to enterprises, for example by using the XGS-PON technology.

The road is long and in the coming months we will discover the effectiveness of this provision; from the very first feedback just a few days after its launch (Dashboard Voucher Imprese - Banda Ultra Larga (italia.it)), we see that the majority of bookings are for the contribution of € 2000, which gives us hope for the success of this initiative and above all for the positive impulse that it will result towards the complete digitization of our country.

At Adtran, we have the right solution for operators who want to go above the Giga in a seamless way, and at the same time want to be scalable and pay as they grow – this includes the energy bill.

For more information on this solution, you can visit Telcos