Using funds allocated from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), the government hopes to reach 7 million homes with gigabit-capable broadband infrastructure
On Saturday, Italian state-owned infrastructure company Infratel announced the launch of a tender process aiming to bring gigabit-capable broadband infrastructure to almost 7 million homes by 2026.
The process will primarily target homes situated in grey areas across the country, which are locations where commercial operators currently have no plans to deploy next generation access infrastructure.
The tender divides Italy into 15 geographical areas, each identified during an earlier mapping phase of the process that recorded the number of homes in the area unable to achieve download speeds of at least 300 Mbps. The winning bidder for each lot will have up to 70% of their expenses covered by the tender.
Each operator can win up to eight lots, meaning that theoretically the entire complement could be split between just two operators. It is expected that a significant portion of these tenders will ultimately go to TIM and Open Fiber, by far the largest broadband network operators in the country.
The deadline for successful deployment is set at 30 June 2026, with half-yearly coverage objectives assigned until that point. Financial penalties could be applied if these targets are not reached or rollouts are delayed.
Winners will also be obligated to guarantee all operators wholesale access to the funded infrastructure, following guidelines set out by the regulator Agcom.
In total, €3.7 billion in funding from the PNRR is being made available in this tender process, aiming to rapidly accelerate the operators network deployments and achieve the government’s gigabit goals.
Interested bidders will have until March 16 to submit their proposals, with winners being selected not only on their financial offers, but also on the quality of their proposed network and a variety of corporate responsibility factors, such as the quality of training plans for personnel and the diversity of the project’s workforce.
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