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Connected Italy

Emanuela Ciapanna and Giacomo Roma ()
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Giacomo Roma: Bank of Italy

No 573, Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) from Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area

Abstract: The purpose of this work is to describe the present conditions and possible development of telecommunication networks in Italy, with particular reference to new generation networks. We review the main technological solutions adopted from a cross-country perspective and investigate the determinants of the Italian lag on both the supply and demand side. We also assess the congestion risk associated with the COVID-19 emergency. The latter is interpreted as a large demand shock, whose effects on some sectors ? namely smart working, e-commerce and e-government ? are already visible. The main message from our analysis is that our country has shown varying degrees of resilience and adaptability to the shock: areas covered with high-speed broadband and clusters of firms and public administrations that had invested in digitalization in the past found themselves well equipped to face the shock. On the contrary, areas without an adequate bandwidth coverage, as well as firms and public administrations devoid of a settled digital culture, were caught unprepared. Our study reiterates the urgent need to maximize the coverage of the whole territory with high-speed internet broadband, and to invest in digital human capital development.

Keywords: telecommunication networks; telecommunication regulation; broadband; 5G; digital skills; smart working; e-commerce; e-government; Covid-19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K21 K23 L4 L96 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-ict, nep-ore and nep-reg
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