Italy, no stranger to ambitious infrastructure collaboration projects, is cooking up another adventurous public-private partnership scheme.
Dubbed the national strategic hub (NSH), the lead promotor is Telecom Italia (TIM). The aim of NSH is to provide infrastructure for cloud-based management of public administration data and applications by "pooling the partners' specific expertise and the best Italian and international technologies."
Other participants in the NSH mix are state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, through its CDP Equity subsidiary; Leonardo, a cybersecurity specialist; and state-owned IT company Sogei.
The consortium sees NSH as firmly part of Italy's recovery and resilience plan. The project, claim TIM et al, can help achieve the government'’s overall objective to accelerate digital transformation.
The European Union has earmarked €68.9 billion ($80.3 billion) in grants and €122.6 billion ($143 billion) in loans for Italy's recovery and resilience plan. These funds are drawn from the EU's recovery and resilience facility (RRF).
One aim of the RRF is to make the EU less dependent on US and Asian big tech for cloud services. Backers of the NSH proposal claim they can "guarantee national data security and control."
NSH nuts and bolts
The proposed project, as far as Light Reading can gather, needs approval from the Italian ministry for technological innovation and digital transition, and, perhaps more importantly, needs to pique the interest of Italy's public administration.
According to the official announcement, Italy's public administration must examine the NSH proposal within three months of its receipt and, "if assessed positively," will launch a tender in which "all interested subjects may participate", not just TIM.
In such an event the NSH backers will set up a NewCo with a 45% stake held by TIM, 25% by Leonardo, 20% by CDP, and 10% by Sogei.
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— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading