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Banda Ultralarga Website

2020 — 2021 | Infratel Italia | Infrastructure Government

The Banda Ultralarga Strategic Plan ("BUL") was announced in 2015 with a promise that by 2020, infrastructure to support broadband internet connection would reach every household in Italy. The Ministry of Economic Development’s in-house agency, Infratel Italia, was appointed to lead development. But progress proceeded more slowly than expected, and at the beginning of 2020, construction had only been completed in 92 of the country’s 8,000 municipalities. Come spring and the COVID–19 outbreak in Europe, the project took on a new level of urgency.

Challenge

Revamp website for Italian government infrastructure "BUL" project in six weeks.

Solution

Optimized desktop and mobile, map–based experiences with advanced functionality to show progress.

Services

Product/service strategy; UX, UI, and data visualization design; Data science, strategy; Front, back–end development; Impact monitoring

Deliverables

Interactive atlas; Website; Mobile app

Process

While the COVID–19 pandemic halted on–the–ground construction, the building of a platform to provide reliable updates on internet connectivity became more important than ever. Infratel pursued an aggressive launch date: six weeks from kickoff to go–live. The only way for us to meet deadlines would be to collaborate closely, remotely.

Our first task was to check the integrity of the site’s building blocks: data inherited from previous partners. The information was couched in a massive, dense file, and parsing it became a joint effort with Infratel’s Engineering and Data Integration department. We worked together to discern content that would help create a better, more meaningful experience for users. While Infratel’s analysts gathered missing figures, our developers built the website’s foundation with deputy placeholders. Meanwhile, designers worked in lock–step with developers to forecast navigation behavior and design user flows inclusive of every scenario imaginable. Flexibility was key.

Complicating matters, our team was like many others in the spring of 2020: strewn throughout the country. The circumstances may have given designers an extra dose of empathy for end–users, and in any case, it drove the point home that appearance–wise, the new website for BUL would need to accommodate longterm residents of remote regions as well as their new urban transplant neighbors.

Outcome

The new BUL Plan website launched without a hitch in June, 2020, with improvements to its predecessor's core functionality plus new features aimed at making Infratel's work more transparent. Data visualization, a key component of the BUL Plan’s rejuvenated visual identity, figures prominently. As both a tool for communication and a showcase for missions accomplished, it reflects Infratel’s dual motivations in launching a new website: to welcome dialogue, and to elucidate how complex projects come to fruition.

The completion of the entire endeavor in less than two months was a display of nimbleness not often associated with companies in the public sector: an accomplishment even in ordinary times. Leading newspaper Corriere della Sera described the new website at launch as “Già estremamente precisa” or “already extremely precise,” while noting with admiration that more advanced features were forthcoming.

“The collaboration with Accurat began at a crucial moment for the development of the country's digital infrastructures. The solutions put forth by Accurat represent a leap forward in progress in terms of the transparency and accessibility of information we provide to citizens.”

Marco Bellezza, CEO, Infratel Italia

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