High technology

A 100% fibre optic territory

Trentino, like many rural and mountains areas, faces the problem of the unwillingness of private Telecommunications Operators to invest and to improve the existing network. The Autonomous Province of Trento government (PAT), believing that the broadband infrastructure will be the backbone of the economic activities of the territory, has decided to take major steps allowing its citizens and companies not to be excluded from the economic, social and occupational development resulting from innovation. Since early 2000 the Province is therefore working to give the entire territory broadband internet coverage as part of a wider e-society strategy based on ICT development, whose main aims are: innovation in the local economy, improved efficiency of public administration and the elimination of the digital divide. Despite its mountainous territory and low housing density, an advanced network infrastructure is being deployed in order to support the needs of all categories of population and to extend the advantages of the information society throughout Trentino.

PAT is implementing a medium-long term plan based on three steps:

  • Eliminate the 1st generation Digital Divide (up to 2Mbps) through the WiNet project;
  • Overcome the 2nd generation Digital Divide (20Mbps);
  • Deploy a FTTH infrastructure covering 100% of the population by 2018.

The first of these steps has already been completed, and the second and third steps are currently ongoing.

As a first initiative Trentino Network, a public company fully owned by PAT, is bringing an optical fibre backbone to the entire Province by the end of 2012. The total investment for the completion of the network is more than 100 million Euros, which is used to set up 92 nodes, to put down more than 900 km of optical fibre and to setup a Network Operations Centre designed to accommodate the emergency unit. Moreover, in 2008 the WiNet wireless network was deployed to provide connectivity to rural areas and foster the development of broadband services to at least 90% of the inhabitants.The wireless data transmission network (one of the largest in Europe) is now active in the whole Province and provides fast access by means of 1,600 access points in more than 760 sites, 63 fibre-optic network nodes and primary radio links at 155 Mbps.

By overcoming the 2nd generation Digital Divide, PAT wants to ensure 20 Mbps connection to 100% of users by the end of 2012, promoting the development of innovative services through the deployment of a new open network, available to all interested operators. The State Aid was approved by DG Comp (N 305/2010 “Reduction of the digital divide in Trentino, Italy on 16/11/2010”) and the Public Tender was assigned to Telecom Italia, which should deploy the infrastructure in less than 48 months.

The forthcoming ultra-broadband FTTH network, which is forecasted to be around 5.700 km long, is planned to be in place by the 2018 at a cost of around 400 million Euro. The Province of Trento deliberated to put in place all the conditions for the full coverage of the territory setting up a public-private partnership (PPP) with private network operators in order to cover at least 60% of users. The plan is to cover the remaining (low profitability) areas via the Trentino Network public company, already involved in the implementation of the public network infrastructure mentioned above, thus leveraging on the investments already made by the Province for the deployment of the fibre-optic provincial backbone and PoPs.