Italy’s government chose web hosting provider Aruba and broadband operator Fastweb to create a cloud-based infrastructure for the public administration, although a rival consortium including Telecom Italia still has 15 days to match the offer.

The winning consortium will be charged with building and managing a new National Strategic Hub (NSH), which was proposed by the country’s Department for Digital Transformation in 2021. The purpose of the NSH is to accelerate the digital transformation of public services and guarantee national data security and control.

Italy’s government launched the tender for the project in January and received proposals from the Aruba-Fastweb consortium and a group including Telecom Italia, Sogei, Leonardo and CDP Equity.

Authorities deemed the Aruba-Fastweb offer to be more competitive on economic terms. However, it appears the Telecom Italia group can make a counter-offer in the coming two weeks if it exercises a right of first refusal.

The NSH is one of three pillars of Italy’s Cloud Strategy, the other two being the aim to create a qualification process for public cloud providers and their services; and the migration of public administration data and services to the cloud.

Italy’s strategy aligns with efforts elsewhere on the continent to secure national control over data, such as Europe’s cloud infrastructure project Gaia-X.

In France, Orange and Capgemini are also in the process of establishing the Bleu platform as a trusted cloud solution.

Announced in May 2021, Orange stated this week that the platform will become operational in 2022.