Italy’s government made almost €3.7 billion available to help boost the deployment of 1Gb/s broadband services in underserved areas.

Infratel Italia, the agency in charge of managing the project, stated the aim is to cover a further 7 million households with high-speed broadband networks offering download speeds of 1Gb/s and 200Mb/s uploads.

Interested parties have until 16 March to submit bids for the funding. A total of 15 geographic lots are up for grabs and the work must be completed by 30 June 2026. The public funding will contribute up to 70 per cent of costs incurred.

The call for tender is the first under the new Italia a 1 Giga plan, one of a number of initiatives within Italy’s national ultra-broadband strategy. The approach also includes plans to connect schools and healthcare facilities, and promote the development of 5G networks.

Funds will come from Italy’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, the nation’s programme under the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, which aims to mitigate the economic and social impact of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The most recent data from the FTTH Council Europe showed Italy was expected to increase its FTTH footprint to 16 million households by the end of 2021, up 46 per cent over 2020.

By 2026, the figure is expected to reach 26 million households.

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