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TIM bridges digital divide in Apulia, proposes regional PSTN turn off

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TIM has turned on ultrabroadband fibre coverage for 99.4% of households in Apulia; a move it said makes the region the first in Italy to "close the digital divide".

The FTTx network –with FTTC technology up to 200 Mbps and FTTH technology up to 1 Gigabit/s – reaches 99.4% of households that use the fixed network, while the remaining 0.6% are covered by satellite or FWA ultrabroadband connections.

Overcoming the logistical challenges posed by the pandemic, work to construct the new networks or expand existing ones was carried out in around 200 municipalities to deliver the infrastructure needed to secure ultrabroadband connections for both consumers and businesses.

In a statement to the press, TIM declared: "The plan to provide ultrabroadband coverage through the FTTx network is complete." Capacity has reached out for more details. 

TIM said it has "speeded up its fibre coverage plan in over 3,500 Italian municipalities" since the start of the pandemic, with a focus on rural areas and pockets with low population density. The network now reaches more than 91% of Italian households that use the fixed network, in addition to ultrabroadband coverage via FWA, mobile (4G/5G) and satellite.

However, the next project could involve a turn off.

The telco said in a statement that is will "shortly be proposing to AGCOM and all other telecommunications operators a territorial action aimed at switching off the copper network (PSTN) in the province of Taranto".

If it goes ahead, the project would involve migrating all the city's lines to the ultrabroadband FTTx network, and could be extended across the entire region, with the objective of easing the transition to new, digital technologies.

The news comes six months after Italian operators took their first – and biggest – step to creating a single network delivering FTTH. The move created FiberCop, now a TIM Group subsidiary, which in addition to TIM's other plans, is now scheduled to accelerate construction of the secondary fibre optic network from April.

This will cover 76% of Italy's "black and grey" coverage areas with FTTH technology by 2025.

Speedtest Intelligence data released in January 2021 showed Tiscali was the fastest fixed broadband provider on average, among top providers in Italy in Q4 2020 with a Speed Score™ of 69.68.

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