Bicycle voucher and PosteID Spid: what went wrong

Here's why the web platform for the bike bonus went down and, in turn, caused the down of PosteID and other SPID services.

Yesterday was a very heavy day not only for the Ministry of the Environment and Sogei, the General Informatics Company owned by the Ministry of the Economy, but also for Poste Italiane and other Identity Providers that provide SPID, the digital identity that is needed to request the bike and scooter voucher.

The enormous pressure exerted by hundreds of thousands of people trying to access the platform at the same time, in fact, indirectly sent the computer systems on which the digital authentication platform "runs" into a tailspin. SPID, in fact, is a system that, in order to work, requires the confirmation of the identity by the Identity Provider: the citizen tries to "enter with SPID" on a platform and the platform contacts the person who provided the SPID (i.e. the Identity Provider) to have the confirmation of the identity declared by the citizen. But if the Identity Provider goes down due to the overload of requests, the identity is not confirmed and, consequently, the citizen cannot access the platform.

Down SPID PosteID: what happened

If what I have just described was the mechanism (absolutely predictable) of what happened yesterday, the numbers of this event are those poured out on Facebook by the Minister of the Environment Sergio Costa: "At 19.30, Sogei, the company managed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance that manages the portal, informs us that 35,714 vouchers and 68,556 refunds requested have been issued. So more than 104,000 people. With an influx of 3000 contacts per minute! No one, not even those who manage these services and are accustomed to record turnouts, could have imagined it".

Right from the grapevine, however, it is said that Minister Costa himself was so furious yesterday about what was happening that he picked up the phone to ask the CEO of Sogei and the CEO of Poste Italiane for an account and a reason for the inefficiency. On Facebook, however, the phone call was described in reassuring tones: "In the afternoon I heard the CEO of Sogei and the CEO of Poste Italiane, with whom I am in constant contact, in order to deal promptly with these problems. To all of them I say: connect calmly, even in the next few days. We have enough resources for everyone.

Bicycle voucher: how much money remains

If Minister Costa promises new resources it is because, despite yesterday's enormous problems, almost all of the 210 million euros made available by his department to cover the mobility voucher have been used up: this morning at nine o'clock, in fact, just 10 million remained.