Five Alpine huts in the territories of the Unione Montana Valli di Lanzo, Ceronda e Casternone and the Unione Montana Alpi Graie can finally benefit from fast Internet connections. These are the Paolo Daviso refuge in Groscavallo (2,280 metres), the Bartolomeo Gastaldi refuge in Balme (2,659 metres), the Luigi Cibrario refuge in Usseglio (2,616 metres), the Ernesto Tazzetti refuge in Usseglio (2,642 metres) and the Vulpot refuge, which stands at 1,805 metres on the Malciaussia Lake.
The project originated from a specific request by the Unione Montana di Comuni delle Valli di Lanzo, Ceronda e Casternone and the Unione Montana Alpi Graie to activate a network infrastructure in the Lanzo Valleys area, taking advantage of the reactivation of the optical fibre backbone along the Turin-Ceres railway line, owned by the Mountain Unions themselves (UUMM).
The Città Metropolitana di Torino allocated a contribution of EUR 41,000, in addition to the funds made available by the UUMM. Additionally, as part of the Community Networks initiative, Internet Society (ISOC) provided TOP-IX with a contribution for the reactivation of the optical fibre backbone between Turin and Ceres and the creation of two nodes at stations at Germagnano and Ceres railway stations. These two stations have excellent visibility towards some UUMM transmission towers, useful for the distribution of radio connectivity services in the Valleys.
For the realization of the Alpine Huts connectivity project, the availability of the network operators belonging to the TOP-IX Consortium was requested and, following technical and economic evaluations, the operator Erre Elle Net was selected. It set up quickly the infrastructure necessary to provide connectivity services at the Alpine huts.
The network infrastructure is available to the Consortium operators to provide broadband connectivity in the area covered by the Mountain Union, both for the population and for business activities. This provides an important service for enhancing the territory, making it more attractive than typical mountain areas.