Italian digital divide

Italian_digital_divide.jpg

In Italy the digital divide is implacably getting bigger in relation to Europe. Itís increasing just like the stock options of the Telecom Italia managers. In the United States more than 50% of families have Broadband. Broadband, not ADSL: BROADBAND!!!
In Italy there are even areas where mobile phones canít work.
The President of AIIP {Italian Internet providers} has sent me this letter. Tomorrow the AGCom and the Government have the possibility to change things. Letís send them a supporting email: Agcom, Gentiloni, Sircana.

ďDear Beppe,
as president of the most representative of the Italian Internet Providers, I feel it is necessary and my duty to write you a letter to make known to your affectionate readers the reasons for which Broadband in Italy cannot take off, reasons that we have tackled with many initiatives with other interested associations in the sector, from users to the tiniest operators.
The ills of the Internet are known to us all: the territorial coverage is limited, even absent in numerous areas, while prices are still among the highest in Europe. As though that were not enough, our ATM network is so old and saturated that the point has come when not even Telecom can find a reason for us to invest in it. You see, dear Beppe, thereís much talk of VoIP and of IPTV but many people donít realize that here at times even the basic conditions for Internet access are missing.
Often user associations and business associations have opposing interests. In this case however their interests are in alignment and joint initiatives between operator associations and user associations are really numerous. They are trying to move the situation forward and avoiding the continuation of what Floris has described in his book Ďhttp://www.lafeltrinelli.it/istituzionale/articolo/articolo.aspx?i=15611Monopolií: that the monopoly that went out of the door for telephones is coming back in by the window for Broadband.
To think that there are countries from Korea to Japan that have made Broadband a national priority. And without going too far away, even our neighbour Denmark manages to get the record for having the greatest number of Broadband lines per inhabitant. Itís a winning example that represents an example to be followed and to be put forward again immediately even here in Italy. How? Itís very simple.
In the next few days the Communications Authority (AGCom) and the Government are about to evaluate the opportunity to take urgent measures to use the same price system as in Denmark for the wholesale supply to us operators, better known as ĎBitstreamí. This represents a golden opportunity to make Internet work in Italy.
The Bitstream system is important. In Europe most of the Broadband lines offered by the alternative operators use this method and it has the advantage of not duplicating the network where it already exists, thus freeing up resources to take the Internet where it is not available.
This is why deciding today about selling prices that Telecom will apply to operators for Bitstream supply is a fact that is not simple, that has necessitated dozens of meetings and kilometres of paper, of letters, of rearrangements and continual postponements. Just think that Telecom was committed to put this into action by the end of December 2005.
We have been studying all the European documentation and finally we have come up with a solution: itís called Denmark. In depth technical studies confirm that the Danish model is the best interconnection model, because it has encouraged the growth of the market and the opening up to competition.
The facts tell us we are right. To create in Italy a technological environment like the one in Denmark, we need to start with the wholesale Bitstream prices.
This is the only way we can hope to lower the prices for the public and to open up the market to the benefits of competition, so that resources can be freed up to invest in the areas that are not yet covered. Beppe, it really needs very little, but it no longer depends on us. Itís AGCom that has to do it. We want Danish pricing now.Ē
Marco Fiorentino Ė AIIP President

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:49 AM in | Comments (11)
Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | TrackBack (0) |
View blog opinions



Comments

Ciao Beppe,

I'd love to discuss more pressing issues coming from the lunatic American front line, which I happen to find myself behind, but even if the mess we were in suddenly stopped being messy we could debate it endlessly, and while exploring the ramifications of what went wrong and who is to blame are certainly to be kept in mind in order to tailor the counter measures necessary to stop or reverse some ill-advised course of action, today I feel compelled to comment on this subject because I believe that Internet monopoly threatens the very means we have to make informed choices and form balanced opinions based on data still unbiased by personal or commercial gain.

As far as our DSL coverage goes, in many areas it is actually way more than 50%. I live in California and haven't met anyone without DSL in six years. However here we have moved on to a even creepier and more selective phase.

Mbps aside, the Internet's first amendment referred to as 'Network Neutrality' is what keeps new economic, political and social ideas running at the current speed.

Some time ago, listerning to Democracy Now, I learned that many Internet providers were spending millions of dollars lobbying the U.S. Congress to allow them to turn the Internet into a private network, violating Network Neutrality provisions that should instead be consistently implemented.

Deep pockets equals preferred treatment.

If we don't preserve Network Neutrality, the big media companies will be the only ones able to afford for their content to be delivered quickly and reliably to a vast number of readers simply because they are the highest bidder. At the same time, in view of the fact that the mainstream media is already pretty much in the hands of a mighty few, they'd be able to further limit or prevent the access to any given online content which doesn't benefit their agenda, thus creating web censorship similar to how the Government operates through Yahoo! in China- but with a charming consumistic twist in our case.

Some examples of Net Neutrality violations that have recently occurred on this side of the planet are:

* In 2004, North Carolina ISP Madison River blocked their DSL customers from using any rival Web-based phone service.
* In 2005, Canada's telephone giant Telus blocked customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to the Telecommunications Workers Union during a labor dispute.
* Shaw, a big Canadian cable TV company, charges an extra $10 a month to subscribers in order to "enhance" competing Internet telephone services.
* In April Time Warner's AOL blocked all emails that mentioned www.dearAOL.com ó an advocacy campaign opposing the company's pay-to-send e-mail scheme.

The Internet would turn into a cable service where the provider decides which channels and which programs you are allowed to watch. The TV of the future. Creepy.

We need to keep both eyes open because they keep trying to play this card over and over again.

Ilaria Meloni

Posted by: ilaria meloni | April 10, 2007 12:34 AM


Hi Beppe,
I would like to put some toughts here about the ADLS/Internet situation in Italy and the reason why Telecom is not interested to make it available in many towns.
In my village ( close to Vicenza ) we dont have any ADSL but we have many factories.
Of course the factories need Internet, so they are using some other kinds of connections much more expensive ( H-DSL for example ). If Telecom makes here the ADSL available, the factories will switch on it from the expensive lines giving less money to Telecom.
I think this situation is about the same in many other towns.
Is the WiMAX the solution to this? With the approach that is taking the governement, I would say no. Soon there will be an auction to sell the WiMAX licences. For sure this will make very expensive to get a license for the WiMAX, and therefore all the small local providers will be excluded and only Telecom and some other large companies will get one. So, after that, the areas not covered by ADSL could still remain uncovered because the ( few ) providers would concentrate the investements only in the main metropolitan areas.
Here are my suggestions to avoid that:
- assign the licenses on Regional basis
- who buys a license for a region, MUST cover the complete region with the service.

So, for example, if Libero or Telecom wins the licence for Veneto, it is not allowed to cover only the main metropolitan areas, but also the small rural areas.

best regards

Posted by: Fabio Ferronato | February 24, 2007 07:50 PM


thanks all...

Posted by: evden eve nakliyat | February 21, 2007 01:11 AM


Piero Sanna,
The technology is not enough. The system admininstrators managing the networks must be educated too. Right now, the administration of Fastweb lets so much spam through (perhaps by not closing open relays), that large blocks of Fastweb's IP domains are blacklisted by SORBS. That means that email sent out, when one is connected to the Internet via a FastWeb node, will likely arrive at their intended destinationn labelled as spam. So not only do Italians pay the highest prices (2X) for the same service elsehwere in Europe, their Internet access is shunned by the rest of the world's ISPs (via SORBS).

(Yes, I've complained twice to Fastweb, and no response. Unfortunately, they are the only broadband service offered in my area, and broadband is necessary for my work.)

Posted by: Amara Graps | February 10, 2007 04:07 PM


Ehi Eres Unica welcome back! Long time no see.....

Posted by: piero sanna | February 9, 2007 01:31 PM


They need to resolve this issue ASAP... People are waiting all over the Italian geography to access www.gugolare.com

LOL

Posted by: Eres Unica | February 9, 2007 04:10 AM


Beppe,
Adesso D'alema ha visto Spogli. Sa niente qualcuno cosa si son detti? Sembra a me una cosa infame che D'Alema baratti le vite ed il sudore degli italiani per qualche cosa. Che cosa e' "Il ruolo" degli italiani? Che cosa voglioni tutti questi ambasciatori che scrivono lettere. Poi D'Alema parla per gli italiani o per quella combriccola bipolare che vuole vedere l'Italia col petto grosso per ottenere chissa cosa?!
Ma non e' ora che facciamo i fatti nostri e non cercare zizzannia altrove. Ma quando lo capiremo noi che sgobbiamo e quelli che pretendono di parlare per noi che tutte queste guerre non servono a niente? Sono tutte un Racket per controllare il mondo. Tutto un'approccio sbagliato a solvere i problemi economici interni ed internazionali

Posted by: Sante Camo | February 8, 2007 11:25 PM


Beppe,
Adesso D'alema ha visto Spogli. Sa niente qualcuno cosa si son detti? Sembra a me una cosa infame che D'Alema baratti le vite ed il sudore degli italiani per qualche cosa. Che cosa e' 'Il ruolo" degli italiani? Che cosa voglioni tutti questi ambasciatori che scrivono lettere. Poi D'Alema parla per gli italiani o per quella combriccola bipolare che vuole vedere l'Italia col petto grosso per ottenere chissa cosa?!
Ma non e' ora che facciamo i fatti nostri e non cercare zizzannia altrove. Ma quando lo capiremo noi che sgobbiamo e quelli che pretendono di parlare per noi che tutte queste guerre non servono a niente? Sono tutte un Racket per controllare il mondo. Tutto un'approccio sbagliato a solvere i problemi economici interni ed internazionali

Posted by: Sante Camo | February 8, 2007 11:22 PM


This is deadly serious guys! As far as broadband or internet access is concerned Italy has a shameful reputation in Europe. The so widespread presence of a digital divide makes us loose competitiveness, business opportunities, social interactions and above all, proliferation of free press. The right to be informed is something of paramount importance for any society that aspires to a democratic way of life! In my hometown in Sardinia they are stuck with 56k internet connection! The reason for this is that Telecom has an unexplicable monopoly over the backbone structure of the country. I sincerely hope that WIMAX will be the answer to this! Although I now for sure that the usual scavengers/parasites will try to get something out of this. Thank you!

"Un paese che non si indebita fa rabbia a gli usurai" Ezra Pound

Posted by: Piero Sanna | February 8, 2007 07:38 PM


This is deadly serious guys! As far as broadband or internet access is concerned Italy has a shameful reputation in Europe. The so widespread presence of a digital divide makes us loose competitiveness, business opportunities, social interactions and above all, proliferation of free press. The right to be informed is something of paramount importance for any society that aspires to a democratic way of life! In my hometown in Sardinia they are stuck with 56k internet connection! The reason for this is that Telecom has an unexplicable monopoly over the backbone structure of the country. I sincerely hope that WIMAX will be the answer to this! Although I now for sure that the usual scavengers/parasites will try to get something out of this. Thank you!

"Un paese che non si indebita fa rabbia a gli usurai" Ezra Pound

Posted by: Piero Sanna | February 8, 2007 07:37 PM


This is deadly serious guys! As far as broadband or internet access is concerned Italy has a shameful reputation in Europe. The so widespread presence of a digital divide makes us loose competitiveness, business opportunities, social interactions and above all, proliferation of free press. The right to be informed is something of paramount importance for any society that aspires to a democratic way of life! In my hometown in Sardinia they are stuck with 56k internet connection! The reason for this is that Telecom has an unexplicable monopoly over the backbone structure of the country. I sincerely hope that WIMAX will be the answer to this! Although I now for sure that the usual scavengers/parasites will try to get something out of this. Thank you!

"Un paese che non si indebita fa rabbia a gli usurai" Ezra Pound

Posted by: Piero Sanna | February 8, 2007 07:36 PM


Post a comment


Beppe Grillo's Blog is an open space for you to use so that we can come face to face directly. As your comment is published immediately, there's no time for filters to check it out. Thus the Blog's usefulness depends on your cooperation and it makes you the only ones responsible for the content and the resulting outcomes.

Information to be read before using Beppe Grillo's Blog

The following are not allowed:
1. messages without the email address of the sender
2. anonymous messages
3. advertising messages
4. messages containing offensive language
5. messages containing obscene language
6. messages with racist or sexist content
7. messages with content that constitutes a violation of Italian Law (incitement to commit a crime, to violence, libel etc.)

However, the owner of the Blog can delete messages at any moment and for any reason.
The owner of the Blog cannot be held responsible for any messages that may damage the rights of third parties Maximum comment length is 2,000 characters.
If you have any doubts read "How to use the blog".

Post a comment (English please!)


First name and Surname*:

Email Address*:
We remind you that anonymous messages (without real first name and surname) will be cancelled.
URL:


* Compulsory fields



Send to a friend

Send this message to *


Your Email Address *


Message (optional)


* Compulsory fields