Memorandum of Understanding signed with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane to accelerate the deployment of ultra-fast networks across the country

The agreement, with the DTD (Digital Transformation Department), MIMIT (Ministry for Enterprise and Made in Italy) and MIT (Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport) will enable the deployment of fibre and 5G along 16,000 kilometres of the FS Group’s rail network.

Rome, 23 May 2023

The Undersecretary of State to the Prime Minister, delegated to Technological Innovation, Alessio Butti, the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Matteo Salvini, the Minister for Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, and the CEO of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A., Luigi Ferraris all signed the Memorandum of Understanding to promote the deployment of next-generation fibre-optics and 5G networks throughout Italy, enhancing the capillary nature of the railway infrastructure. Thanks to the Protocol, on the basis of Investment 3.1 of Mission 1, Component 2 of the PNRR (Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan) for “Ultra-fast Networks”, the Department for Digital Transformation of the Presidency of the Council deploys co-funding up to a maximum total value of 550 million euro for the construction of a publicly-owned 5G fibre-optic backhauling and mobile radio infrastructure, with priority along high-speed sections.

The objectives

The objectives of the three-year agreement are thus manifold:

  • Take advantage of the capillarity of the railway network to lay a fibre-optic cable for public use which, with an extension of up to 16,000 kilometres, could facilitate the development of both fixed and mobile new-generation communication networks for the benefit of the entire country system, starting with areas where connectivity issues persist;
  • Deploy next-generation mobile networks along the main national communication lines and trans-European corridors, implementing publicly-owned 5G multi-operator mobile infrastructure, with priority along high-speed sections, capable of ensuring continuous coverage – including in tunnels – with 5G services to improve logistics, safety and passenger services;
  • Contribute to the implementation of digital platforms necessary for the predictive monitoring of the country’s critical infrastructure, from sensors to the data centres required for data flow management.


The agreement signed today is an important aspect of the Review of the Ultra Broadband Strategy that we brought to the first Interministerial Committee for Digital Transition. With this Protocol, we are strengthening digitisation processes, including along railway networks, with the aim of fostering the spread of high-performance connectivity throughout Italy and in the most peripheral areas. By focusing on cooperation and institutional synergies, we are concretely responding to the country’s need for fast connectivity, enhancing the existing connection networks, simplifying the accessibility of digital services and thus improving the quality of life for all citizens,declared Undersecretary Alessio Butti, as delegate for Technological Innovation.

“This is a major step forward in the digitisation of the country and represents a driver for the economy, development and connections. The Memorandum of Understanding signed shall promote the deployment of next-generation fibre-optic and 5G networks throughout Italy, not only enhancing the railway infrastructure but also benefiting all citizens. I believe that overcoming the digital divide and implementing infrastructure networks is a necessary building block for Italy’s competitiveness.” So says Matteo Salvini, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Transport.

“Today’s protocol is an important step in addressing the need for ultra-fast connectivity. With Ferrovie dello Stato’s capillary network, we will significantly increase coverage in both fibre optics and 5G in less-connected areas, thus rendering all areas of our country increasingly competitive, at the service of citizens and businesses,” declared Adolfo Urso, Minister for Enterprise and Made in Italy.

“I am very pleased with this agreement, which sees our Gigabit Rail & Road project become part of the broader national design of digital transformation promoted by the government. The capillary nature of our rail network will allow us to bring fibre optics to areas that have little or no coverage today, in order to improve connectivity and thus become an enabling factor in multiple digitisation processes. To the advantage of our passengers as well as to benefit businesses, citizens and, last but not least, for the more effective monitoring of our rail and road infrastructures that travel alongside each other across some 12,000 kilometres.” Thus states Luigi Ferraris, CEO of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, about the agreement.