In Italy the digital divide is implacably getting bigger in relation to Europe. It’s increasing just like the stock options of the Telecom Italia managers. In the United States more than 50% of families have Broadband. Broadband, not ADSL: BROADBAND!!!
In Italy there are even areas where mobile phones can’t work.
The President of AIIP {Italian Internet providers} has sent me this letter. Tomorrow the AGCom and the Government have the possibility to change things. Let’s send them a supporting email: Agcom, Gentiloni, Sircana.

Dear Beppe,
as president of the most representative of the Italian Internet Providers, I feel it is necessary and my duty to write you a letter to make known to your affectionate readers the reasons for which Broadband in Italy cannot take off, reasons that we have tackled with many initiatives with other interested associations in the sector, from users to the tiniest operators.
The ills of the Internet are known to us all: the territorial coverage is limited, even absent in numerous areas, while prices are still among the highest in Europe. As though that were not enough, our ATM network is so old and saturated that the point has come when not even Telecom can find a reason for us to invest in it. You see, dear Beppe, there’s much talk of VoIP and of IPTV but many people don’t realize that here at times even the basic conditions for Internet access are missing.
Often user associations and business associations have opposing interests. In this case however their interests are in alignment and joint initiatives between operator associations and user associations are really numerous. They are trying to move the situation forward and avoiding the continuation of what Floris has described in his book ‘’: that the monopoly that went out of the door for telephones is coming back in by the window for Broadband.
To think that there are countries from Korea to Japan that have made Broadband a national priority. And without going too far away, even our neighbour Denmark manages to get the record for having the greatest number of Broadband lines per inhabitant. It’s a winning example that represents an example to be followed and to be put forward again immediately even here in Italy. How? It’s very simple.
In the next few days the Communications Authority (AGCom) and the Government are about to evaluate the opportunity to take urgent measures to use the same price system as in Denmark for the wholesale supply to us operators, better known as ‘Bitstream’. This represents a golden opportunity to make Internet work in Italy.
The Bitstream system is important. In Europe most of the Broadband lines offered by the alternative operators use this method and it has the advantage of not duplicating the network where it already exists, thus freeing up resources to take the Internet where it is not available.
This is why deciding today about selling prices that Telecom will apply to operators for Bitstream supply is a fact that is not simple, that has necessitated dozens of meetings and kilometres of paper, of letters, of rearrangements and continual postponements. Just think that Telecom was committed to put this into action by the end of December 2005.
We have been studying all the European documentation and finally we have come up with a solution: it’s called Denmark. In depth technical studies confirm that the Danish model is the best interconnection model, because it has encouraged the growth of the market and the opening up to competition.
The facts tell us we are right. To create in Italy a technological environment like the one in Denmark, we need to start with the wholesale Bitstream prices.
This is the only way we can hope to lower the prices for the public and to open up the market to the benefits of competition, so that resources can be freed up to invest in the areas that are not yet covered. Beppe, it really needs very little, but it no longer depends on us. It’s AGCom that has to do it. We want Danish pricing now.”
Marco Fiorentino – AIIP President


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