We’d All Love to Work Remote From Italy, But How’s the Wifi?

Among the top five questions our members ask these days, one is: How can I work remote from Italy?  Because let’s face it, if you’re still in your pre-retirement years, that’s the dream.  The thing is, for all Italy’s magnificence, the country has lagged on highspeed internet access, although it is improving. You’ll want to understand the broadband situation before you jump in a rental Fiat with your laptop in hand and head for your medieval hilltown of choice. 

Hannah from New York asks a few questions about internet reliability.  We caught up with Francesco Guarguaglini, the Mayor of Radicondoli, a small but innovative town in Tuscany, to provide some answers. Radicondoli recently made its own big investment in high-speed internet, which you can read about here in Italian.  Long story short, when it comes to asking about advances Italy is making with high-speed internet access, we seem to be talking to the right source.

WiFi Connectivity

Q:

My job now allows me to work remotely. I’m planning on visiting Italy for a long time, maybe a few months, and working from there. My biggest concern is the wifi connection. If I don’t have a strong highspeed connection, it’d be a disaster. What is Italy doing to ensure reliable Wifi is widely available?

A:

Italy plans to bring “Fiber to the Home” (FTTH) fiber technology to all homes by 2026, even in smaller towns such as Radicondoli. Radicondoli has already wired all the houses in the historic center of the capital with FTTH fiber. For the remote houses outside the center of town (think “gorgeous rental in the Tuscan countryside”) we are finalizing an agreement with the parish of Radicondoli to configure the bell tower of the church to boost the fiber signal.

Workspaces with WiFi

Q:

In the United States, there are places you can go that are dedicated workspaces that can be rented for the day. I would like it as an option in case I get cabin fever working from home. Does this exist in Italy?

A:

Right now we are preparing the first public spaces for fiber-wired remote work in Radicondoli. The first spaces will be the municipal library of Radicondoli, large and bright, and the civic palace of Belforte. Within the first months of 2022, the Arci di Belforte recreational club will be restored both internally and externally. A multifunctional complex will also be equipped with specific spaces for those who want to work in a social environment.

Other Remote Work Considerations

Q:

What else should I know about the remote work situation in Italy?

A:

Thanks to COVID, smart working, video call meetings and distance learning have now become a permanent part of the Italian social fabric, both in large cities and in internal areas. Even private companies in some sectors (especially services) are using smart working in an important way, benefiting in many cases from the reduction of structural costs and consumption, to the advantage of greater productivity. The choice is greatly influenced by the possibility for employees to be able to use fast and reliable wifi. Radicondoli is ready to take up this challenge.

If you want to know more about Radicondoli, visit us on our YouTube channel or check out our “hospitality offers” on the wivoaRadicondoli website.

Editor’s note: Be aware that there is a difference between fiber availabilty and household adoption of fiber technology. For more on that subject and how it’s playing out in Italy, we suggest this article. To read more on one provider’s future plans for internet infrastructure expansion in Italy, click here.  By all accounts of what we have read, starting in 2021, Italy is genuinely expanding its efforts to expand high-speed internet access, as Francesco’s comments suggest.  We are hopeful!

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