Italy's government considers broadband incentives

2 Sep 2014

The Italian government is considering the introduction of tax breaks of up to 30% for companies looking to deploy broadband internet infrastructure in unserved and under-served areas of the country, Telecompaper reports. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s ‘Unblock Italy’ project will look to kick-start network rollouts in so-called ‘digital divide’ regions which have so far been avoided by fixed telcos when installing high speed equipment. A recent report from the European Commission (EC) placed Italy last in a ranking of European Union (EU) member states by penetration of 30Mbps and above fixed internet services. Just 18.4% of broadband lines in Italy offer speeds of 10Mbps or over, compared to an EU average of 66%. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, growth in the Italian fixed broadband market has slowed almost to a standstill, with 13.95 million subscribers at the end of March 2014, up just 0.4% from three months earlier.