Tuscany places broadband among the primary infrastructures to further strengthen in upcoming years, to serve not only citizens, but primarily businesses, given the importance of high-speed connections for all types of enterprises. Data from the Ministero dello Sviluppo economico [Ministry of Economic Development], updated to June 2013, indicate that 89.4% of the Region’s population is covered by an ADSL connection equal to or greater than 2 Mbps, while 5.5% has wireless or 3G coverage: this means that the so-called digital divide is reduced to the remaining 5.1%. The average connection speed is of 5 Mbps.

However, the goal is to meet – in seven years – the targets set by the Digital Agenda for Europe (an initiative by European Commission for the development of information and communication technology in the EU member states) to provide the entire population with a 30 Mbps connection infrastructure and a 100 Mbps connection for at least 50% of the population. This goal, based on the calculated estimates, is reachable through an investment that vaies between 150 and 940 million, to which end the Regione Toscana [Region of Tuscany] recently announced a financial commitment of 100 million in support of the Digital Agenda plan. An important step [forward], that will be joined by others, including at the institutional level: the head of telecommunications for the Ministry of Economic Development, Antonello Giacomelli, announced the creation of a worktable with operators in the telephone market to favor broadband investments in Tuscany.

But the principal TLC groups present in Italy have for some time been moving to reinforce the Tuscan infrastructure in the direction indicated by the Digital Agenda and moreover in the direction currently demanded by the necessities of global businesses. A few days ago, Telecom Italia, Italy’s main telephone group, announced having increased the number of Tuscan cities reached by a new optic fiber network that allows for connections up to 30 Megabit per second for downloads and that in the future will be able to be increased to 100 Megabits per second. Apart from Florence, Arezzo, Livorno, Lucca, Pisa, and Prato, where the “superfast” internet was already available, coverage is now extended to Siena, Massa, Pistoia, and Grosseto, and fiber optics are already being laid in Viareggio. In the four new centers reached by the infrastructures, current coverage is at approximately 50% of the population, and Telecom announced the goal of raising it to 75-80% by the end of 2015.

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