South Italy is lagging behind North Italy and Europe in terms of infrastructure. This gap is further encouraged by the absence of adequate telecommunications infrastructure which would enable high-speed connectivity. This is a serious problem which could damage the economic competitiveness of South Italy, in particular the rural and peripheral areas.
The European Union and the Ministry for Technological Innovation have set up different strategies to eliminate the digital divide between South and North Italy. Today, broadband penetration could be said to be satisfactory in urban areas, but this is not the case in diverse rural areas. Southern Italian provinces need a creative engine, which today cannot happen without the support of the information and communication technologies and an awareness of their potential.
Broadband is a fundamental step in the development of high-quality services for citizens, firms, public services and public institutions. However, knowledge of the strength of digital technologies and the ability to use them as a means to reinforce productive networks among all the actors within the region is also important.
This is the starting point of “Digital Provinces”. This initiative aims to be a proactive observatory to stimulate knowledge about the Information Society in rural provinces of South Italy. The first step will be the workshop, “Information Society in Peripheral Areas of South Italy”. The workshop will analyse the present status and future perspective of Information and Communication Technologies in peripheral areas. The focus will be the Valle Caudina, and so the discussion will involve students, politicians, councillors, and businesspeople of the Caudinian area. “Digital Provinces” will be a chance to share opinions, to stimulate and to inform all aspects of Caudinian society about the use of digital technologies.