To the general approval of the telecommunications sector, the new Monti government recently announced that it is accelerating the implementation of Italy's digital agenda - a broad initiative which aims to promote the widespread availabilty of communications technology and its social and economic benefits. The government has approved a new working group, headed by a number of ministries, which will study ongoing initiatives, rationalise them and enact the necessary changes to regulations and standards to pursue the aims of the European digital agenda. The first results are expected between March and June 2012.

The government has prepared a document which sets out its priorities to boost Italy's economy. It includes a section dedicated to the digital agenda, developed on the basis of the strategy defined by the European Commission in 2010. The document sets 2020 as the deadline for implementation and identifies many goals, encompassing the use of technology in society, the creation of new-generation networks and improvements in digital literacy.

A steering committee has been created to put these goals into practice. It is charged with the task of coordinating initiatives between ministries, regions, local authorities and independed authorities. Priorities have been identified under six headings, with one or more ministries responsible for each - for example, the Ministry for Economic Development will oversee research and investment, collaborating with the Ministry of Education on infrastructure and safety.

Telecommunications companies have long been waiting for a credible strategy to support digital innovation in Italy, along with a practical liberalisation programme that will support growth in the sector. They now have good reason to hope for a more positive future for the communications industry.

For further information on this topic please contact Vittorio Noseda or Carlo Grignani at NCTM Studio Legale Associato by telephone (+39 02 72 5511), fax (+39 02 72 55 1501) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]).