Internet, ultra wide band, 5G, digital inclusion
. And a fact: 60% of Italian families do not have Internet on a fixed network or do not have an ultra-broadband connection. To date, in fact, “about 16 million families (60% of the total) they do not use fixed-line Internet services or don’t have a fixed ultra-broadband connection. This is unacceptable. “This was stated by the Minister for Innovation and Digital Transition, Vittorio Colao, at the hearing in the joint committees of the Chamber of Transport and Budget, Public Works and EU Policies of the Senate, as part of the examination of the proposal for PNRR – National recovery and resilience plan. To speed up ultra-broadband coverage in the country “radio technologies can (and must) be used where the fiber does not reach or fails to reach, just as we must encourage rapid investment in the development of 5G networks“says Colao.
“We must in fact make sure of fully grasp the revolution of 5G and mobile ultra broadband: it would be economically penalizing, and I also believe socially unacceptable, if productive and working realities that operate in less central areas of our country could not access the low latency automation and remote control opportunities that these technologies allow “, he explains.
For the minister, also in light of the pandemic emergency, “modernizing the infrastructure for connectivity is configured as a duty of the State, called by Article 3 of the Constitution to ensure equal access to opportunities and to offer all citizens the same starting conditions. For us, connectivity must be understood as a right“.
And again: “To date, FTTH coverage reaches just under 34% of Italian households. The problem, however, does not only concern infrastructure, but also the rate of adoption of Internet access data services: in 2020 turn out to be there 10 million Italian families (39% of the total) that they have not activated offers for access to the Internet on a fixed network and over 5.5 million households (21% of the total) who use fixed-line Internet services but with speeds below 30 Mbps “, underlines the minister.
An “unacceptable” situation because, explains Colao, “the network today offers essential services for the full development of our lives and opens up opportunities for growth, education, work and entertainment that were unthinkable in an analog world. The systematic exclusion of entire sections of our population from the network means depriving them of substantial equality in opportunities. Not only that, but connectivity is distributed in a highly unequal way on our territory. Not making coverage uniform and fast actually means increasing the territorial gaps that already exist and creating new ones “.
And to speed up coverage with ultra-broadband networks throughout the territory, the model followed to date must therefore be reviewed, setting theconcrete goal of connecting everyone by 2026 with very high-speed connections and leaving operators the freedom to choose the best technology “.
“Digital can and must be inclusive” underlines the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition. “We are often led to think that the digital transition is about individual initiatives, or procedures that simply need to be modernized compared to the past. In truth, this is not the case: the digital transformation that is affecting our society, our economies and our daily lives is much more. It is a fundamental change in the way we work, produce and interact in our lives. “
“This is because – continues Colao – the new digital dimension is reducing the time and costs of access to skills and information, it is breaking down many barriers to investment and it is changing the business models of entire industrial sectors. The public sector is also not immune to this transformation. Thanks to digital, public administrations can improve the ways in which they respond to social needs in terms of speed, agility and quality in the provision of services. In essence, the socio-economic and relational framework that has characterized our society from the first industrial revolution to today is being completely redesigned and within which our knowledge, our activities and our lives as a whole mature “.
In this sense, Colao highlights how “the digital transition is a unique opportunity for growth, employment, and innovation, of sustainable preservation of the territory and nature and also of diffusion and wider access to art and culture “.
“Italy – observes the minister – must take this opportunity without hesitation. And it must do so above all to allow our young people, who will truly live in a digital future, to have access to those opportunities from which they have too often been excluded “.
“As illustrated by President Draghi in his speech to the Chambers, the country’s digital transition is a priority for us in government action. The PNRR is the central element of this mission and will concern some major transformation initiatives “underlines Colao. Some of these transformation initiatives, he explains,” will be managed directly by the Department I use; others involve various ministries, with which we are working according to a logic of horizontal competence with the support of the Ministry of Economy and Finance “.
“We are coordinating – he continues – the many projects relating to the digital transition, ensuring the transfer of experiences, the strengthening of the skills of the Public Administration and optimization of overall expenditure, seeking economies of scale. An important part will also concern initiatives for the support and education of citizens about digital life, because if digital has so far been perceived as a difficult game for a few, today everyone must be able to play this game “.
“For this reason, today I would like to illustrate how we are working on the PNRR, insisting on three points. First, I will discuss the objectives we have adopted in finalizing the Plan regarding issues related to the digital transition; secondly, I would like to illustrate some of the measures of the Pnrr which we consider a priority; and finally, I would like to show how this work fits into the programmatic lines of my mandate, also for the benefit of the eighth committees of the Senate and ninth of the Chamber, of reference for the Communications sector “.
On the connection of digital Italy “‘halfway through the race’ we want to be in the leading European group” is the line indicated by the Minister of Technological Innovation and Digital Transition, who recalls that “Italy has lost a lot of ground compared to the more developed economies, in terms of growth, income and standard of living, with a worrying impact on the prospects for the younger generations. This – he adds – is largely due to not having been able to fully grasp the challenges and advantages that the technological and digital transition entails “.
“It is clear that if we want not only to catch up with other countries, but also to become leaders in the industrial sectors, in quality employment and living standards, we must work on a digital modernization of our country as a whole. To achieve this goal – continues the minister – today we must therefore set ourselves ambitious goals. The Digital Compass vision announced by the European Commission last week aims to achieve almost full digitization by 2030. Thanks to the PNRR we want to ensure that Italy not only recovers the lost ground, but is among the countries closest to achieving the vision of the Digital Compass as early as 2026 “.
A transformation, observes Colao, “which I would call accelerated, which will need people and human capital to take place and for this reason we want to bring Italy to a much higher level of scientific and technological training”.
“Our action – clarifies the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transformation – is therefore not limited to digitization in a technical sense. He wants to give consistency, within the Pnrr, to all measures concerning digitization, the country’s technological development and opportunities personal and work that will follow, especially for our young people, girls and boys, who I consider my employers “.