Digital Highways
6 December 2023

Open Fiber’s FTTHFTTH “Fiber to the Home” is the technology that connects POPs, located in exchanges, to end users’ property units with fiber optics. fibre will support the implementation of advanced digital services in Pitigliano to combat the digital divideDigital Divide A term to describe the gap between those who can use new information and communication technologies and those who, for technical, economic or social reasons, are unable to use them. Read the news item “Digital divide and social inequality: the role of Open Fiber” to find out more.

Open Fiber’s FTTH fibre will support the implementation of advanced digital services in Pitigliano. That is how the Little Jerusalem of Italy is preparing to become the first digital village in the country. 

The open-air workshop in the heart of the Tuscan Maremma began on 4 July.

The project involves the implementation of innovative digital services for energy efficiency, monitoring and security in the area, and the digitalisation of sectors such as education, healthcare and tourism. Together with local companies and research institutes, Open Fiber aims to create a digitalisation model that can be replicated in other villages. Here are all the details about this new adventure!

Open Fiber in Pitigliano: the village overlooking the Maremma 

Those that visit Pitigliano, coming up from the sea, are fascinated by the houses perched on the cliff overlooking the bottom of the valley. Because of its remarkable beauty, the village has won some of the most prestigious national awards: it is on the list of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy” and has received the Bandiera Arancione (a tourism-environmental quality award from the Italian Touring Club) for the 2021-2023 period. It couldn’t be any other way for this village filled with monuments whose history can be traced to the Neolithic period. And Open Fiber is also now part of this story: let’s take a look at the details of this ambitious project. 

Pitigliano and fibre optics: the challenges of the project

Between the churches, castles, museums, ancient necropolises and the historic synagogue, the real challenge is guaranteeing a sustainable digital transition that is respectful of the local area.  

Open Fiber’s fibre optic infrastructure plays a central role in the project, which demands stability and speed for data transmission. In fact, the FTTH networkNetwork In computer language, the term network defines a set of hardware and software devices which, when linked together, enable the exchange and sharing of resources, data or information. In a computer network, the devices that generate, route and terminate data are called network nodes. is an enabler that makes it possible to innovate urban management models, drive development and implement useful services for municipalities and citizens.

What exactly is meant by a “digital village”?

But what exactly do we mean by “digital village” and what cutting-edge digital services will be implemented in Pitigliano? The most noteworthy are:

  • The trialling of augmented realityAugmented reality A form of virtual reality in which computer-generated information elements are superimposed on the real scene perceived by a viewer. Applications based on augmented reality require the use of special glasses or devices with a camera such as a smartphone, so that images of reality can be overlaid with pictures, captions, and diagrams. Examples include applications that draw the outline of constellations by framing the stars in the night sky, games that immerse characters in an everyday environment, furniture simulators to display furniture inside empty houses, etc. in the tourism sector to promote the village’s cultural heritage. 
  • The monitoring of the area thanks to the scientific coordination of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. The fibre optics laid by Open Fiber will act as a widespread sensor to collect information using the precision instruments of  ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development).
  • The application of the ENEA PELL (Public Energy Living Lab) project in schools, hospitals and public lighting plants, through management efficiency services for municipalities and citizens. 

Tearing down the digital divide to support villages

Thanks to this infrastructure, the village will for all intents and purposes become a smart city, and smart cities generate positive knock-on effects such as: the economic development of the area, the reduction of the digital divide and the combating of depopulation

Mayor Giovanni Gentili specifically emphasised this aspect when commenting on the presentation of the project: 

“Pitigliano is proud of this investment made by Open Fiber and Enea. The project must be replicable in other Italian villages, we want to set an example. Fibre infrastructure and these kinds of initiatives must also help to stop the exodus that is taking place in small Italian municipalities.” 

Which will be the next municipalities to join the digital community? Follow the progress of the project on the dedicated page.

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