For the first phase of implementation of the Strategy, the Government has decided to intervene directly in the areas of market failure. The intervention consists of building a network of public property that will be made available to all operators who wish to activate services for citizens and businesses. Public intervention in these areas is considered necessary to correct social and geographic inequalities generated by the absence of private initiative from businesses, thereby allowing greater social and territorial cohesion through access to the media via the high-speed broadband network.
The white areas identified include approximately 24.6% of the Italian population, and 26% of the REU. The direct intervention – in line with the European and Italian Digital Agenda – is aimed at bridging the digital divide between areas in Italy with lower population density and the highest levels of disadvantage, and the most dynamic areas from a competitive point of view.
Coordination between the Ministry of Economic Development and local governments for financial measures and operations in Italy was secured by a framework agreement signed on 11 February 2016 between the Ministry of Economic Development, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Regions.
The Regions will employ the resources of the programming of EU structural funds, set out by the 2014-2020 Partnership Agreement, amounting to approx. 1.8 billion euros. These funds are guaranteed in the Operational Programmes (regional and national) already approved or awaiting approval from the European Commission, including 230 million programmed through the 2014-2020 National Operational Programme on “Enterprise and Competitiveness”, approved by the Commission on June 23, 2015. In addition, resources amounting to € 2.2 billion of the CSF will be used in accordance with a territorial distribution that takes into account the anticipated demand for government intervention in the white areas of Clusters C and D, identified as a result of the public consultation in 2015 in every Region in the 2016-2020 period, and taking account of other resources available for financing of the High-Speed Broadband plan in each Region.