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TIM bids to build National Strategic Hub

A pact led by Telecom Italia parent TIM Group (Gruppo TIM) is bidding to create Italy’s National Strategic Hub (NSH), the Polo Strategico Nazionale, through which the government aims to tighten national data security and expedite the digitisation of public administration. The contract has already been given to a collaboration by comms equipment maker Aruba and internet service provider Fastweb, but the Gruppo TIM claims it has legal grounds to challenge that.

Decent proposal
The Italian government budgeted €900 million for the project, which attracted three proposals. One was formulated by Gruppo TIM (GT) and national investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), along with defence contractor Leonardo and IT business Sogei, which is owned by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. Their proposal was adopted as the template for the NSH. However, in June, the Italian government awarded the contract to regional web hosting service Aruba and broadband service provider Fastweb, which it said provided the most competitive bid. Now GT is to challenge this, reports RCR Wireless.

Legal argument
“The promoter has exercised the pre-emption right within the 15-day period provided for by law (paragraph 15 of article 183, of the Public Contracts Code, expressly referred to in the tender regulations), undertaking to fulfil [sic] the contractual obligations under the same conditions offered by the current provisional contractor, as communicated to the Administration,” reads a statement posted to the GT website.

The Italian government had showcased NSH as one of “three fundamental pillars” when it comes to modernising and digitising its public administration sector, said RCR Wireless. The government had also proposed a certification process for public cloud providers wishing to do business with Italian government entities, to help make sure they provide adequate national data security, as well as reliable service. The third pillar is the classification of data and services managed by public administrations in Italy. This process is meant to streamline that data uptake to the most appropriate cloud solution, either NSH or qualified public cloud.

However, the telco TIM itself is not averse to working with American hyperscalers, having partnered with Google Cloud for years. The first memorandum of understanding was signed in 2019 and the partnership was launched in March 2020. The new Milan region launched with three cloud zones, and Google Cloud’s standard services.

The Turin Cloud
TIM’s Chief Enterprise and Innovative Solutions Officer Elio Schiavo called the new Google Cloud joint effort the inauguration of a “strategic infrastructure” that promised to boost economic growth in the Lombardy and Piedmont regions. Google Cloud has also announced plans to expand its Italian footprint with a second region in Turin. MobileEurope

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