Digital Italy is always in the second class

In brief
The broadband index developed by I-Com, the Italian Institute for Competitiveness, relegates Digital Italy to a daunting 23rd place in Europe. The ultra-wideband band is spreading, but demand is slowing down and business is suffering.

Digital Italy is an idea, maybe the aspiration of many. But it is not a reality, not at all.

The broadband index is elaborated by the “Istituto per la competitività” (I-Com), one of the most influential Italian “think tank”, which partners are distributed between ITC, industry, and public bodies. This index measures the development of the ultra-wideband in Europe, resulting, more in general, in the level of digital development in the countries that are part of it.


In this particular ranking, Italy is in the 23rd position. The second class of the continent. Despite the presence of high-speed internet fiber infrastructures, digital Italy remains steady and does not catch up the step backward of 2018 compared to 2017.

Subscriptions of 100Mbps internet connections worth less than 15% of the total, half lesser than the European average. Regarding the offer of advanced services, it is a little better, and we take the 15th place, but two steps back compared to last year, to the benefit of Estonia and Hungary.


The I-Com report 2019 has a very indicative title: “I don’t want the moon at all”.

According to the institute president, Stefano Da Empoli, “We are behind, too much behind, in the usage of digital services. And we cannot reduce the gap with the other countries by any chance. On the contrary, the news is that we have been left behind by most of East and South Europe, that until recently was more or less within our reach”.

The weakness of the digital demand in the country is high, and eCommerce is a penalty: it is used just by 36% of our compatriots.


The difficulties of digital Italy, according to I-Com, have to be found in the “administrative difficulties and bureaucratic obstacles that still delay the realization and improvement of the telecommunication infrastructures of our country”.

According to the minister Pisano, institutions “in these days are writing the strategy for the digitalization of Public administration and Country”. The delay can be recovered, but “stability, time, and the collaboration of TLC operators are needed”.

In the meantime, Chambers of commerce decided for an investment of 100 million euros in the next three years to promote the digitalization of PMI.


Digital Italy makes a terrible effort to stay with the other European countries. Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, and Bulgaria did worse than us, but other countries are running. Spain and Portugal, in 2018, improved by almost 7 points to their position in the ranking.

North Europe, needless to say, is the leader. In Sweden, 71% of all families signed a subscription for fast connections higher than 100Mbps. The European average is about 30.8%. On the podium Denmark and Luxembourg too, finally Netherlands and Latvia.

On the other hand, Digital Italy for the promotion still has to hope for the next championships.