Internet speed: Italy starts running with more fiber and less copper

Fast fiber connections are finally supplanting copper ones, the old ADSL, and could get a further boost thanks to the government's new PC and Internet Bonus.

Goodbye copper, welcome fiber: despite the national plan for Ultra Broadband (BUL) is not proceeding at the pace initially expected, the new technologies to connect to the Internet are supplanting the old copper pair that, with ADSL, has given the best of itself and can no longer offer more.

A decline certified by the AGCOM Communications Observatory data: in the second quarter of 2020 copper connections decreased by 3% compared to the previous three months, to the advantage of FTTC (Fiber To The Cabinet, + 2.1%) and FTTH (Fiber To The Home, + 0.6%). FWA (Fixed Wireless Access, a mixture of fiber and wireless connection) technology also grew by 0.2%. If we look at the last 12 months we can frame the data much better: in one year fast networks have grown by 10.2% to the benefit of users, who can take advantage of more streaming entertainment services and smartworking with more than enough connections, but also of the whole country and its digitalization.

How fast is the Internet in Italy today

The fastest average connections in Italy today are the domestic ones: in June 2020, as AGCOM data show, almost half of the residential lines had a speed of at least 100 Mbps. Just a year ago, in September 2019, 49.6% of connections were in copper, 6.5% in FWA, 38.3% in FTTC and 5.6% in FTTH.

In June 2020, however, copper drops to 41.4% while the other three technologies rise to 7.3%, 43.9% and 7.5%, respectively. L’operatore di rete fissa che ha guadagnato la quota di mercato maggiore, sempre secondo i dati aggiornati a giugno 2020 e rispetto a giugno 2019, è Vodafone.

Oggi, quindi, quasi il 60% degli accessi a Internet da rete fissa usa tecnologie moderne e questa non può che essere una buona notizia. C’è da lavorare, però, sul restante 40%.

Il Bonus PC e Internet

Il Governo Italiano ha deciso di dare una decisa spinta alle reti veloci erogando il “Bonus PC e Internet“: 500 euro a disposizione delle famiglie con ISEE fino a 20.000 euro (in futuro verrà allargato alle famiglie con ISEE fino a 50.000 euro) per sottoscrivere un contratto di connessione veloce (200 euro del totale) e l’eventuale PC o tablet per collegarsi (i restanti 300 euro). In addition to the ISEE the requirement to access the bonus is the fact of not having any Internet connection, or a connection of nominal speed below 30 Mbps.

The Bonus PC and Internet, therefore, serves precisely to stimulate the spread of fast connections. Since the speed of the network is not established by the user, but by the technology present on the territory, the Government has decided to provide the bonus through the operators that provide the service. To them is delegated the task of formulating the commercial offers to which the user with the requirements can adhere taking advantage of the bonus.

The importance of the fast connection

The year 2020 will go down in history, unfortunately, as the year of the Covid-19 pandemic. The very complicated health and economic situation has shown our country that it can no longer lag behind in terms of technology and, especially, Internet connections.During the country's total lockdown phase, the economy moved forward thanks to smartworking and services delivered over the Web. The life of the families, instead, has been hanging to the distance didactics of the children and the young people, to the video calls with friends and relatives, to the entertainment made possible by an immense offer of contents in streaming.

Much of all this will remain available also after the end of the Coronavirus nightmare and Italy must be found ready to exploit, thanks to the fast connections, the new opportunities of relaunch of the economy and, why not, of a new sociality.