Italian broadcaster RAI plans to invest €140 million ($151.6m) in developing data centers in the country.

The company this week announced its board of directors had approved a new 2024-2027 business plan, which includes a number of data center investments.

Rai Way
RAI is investing in Italian data centers – Google Maps

Through its Rai Way unit, the company said it plans to invest €140m related to the roll-out of its ‘diversification initiatives’ by 2027. These investments include roll-out of a new Content Delivery Network (CDN), the deployment of 10 Edge data centers, and the development of the first 4.4MW data hall of the hyperscale data center.

Roberto Cecatto, CEO of Rai Way, said: “Today we approved the Plan for the next 4 years. A clear industrial path which, in addition to seizing further opportunities in traditional businesses, defines an evolution of Rai Way's positioning in synergy with corporate assets and skills. The infrastructure we are developing - modern, integrated, and interconnected - is attracting the interest of customers involved in the digital transition process.”

He continued: “We also believe that this plan addresses the appropriate levers to bring out the real value of the company. The benefits will also go beyond the growth estimated for 2027, ensuring long-term sustainability and development.”

RAI said the company’s first Edge data centers, covering the main areas of Central-Northern Italy and totaling around 1.6MW, will come into service as early as the second half of 2024, followed in the next two years by further sites covering Central-Southern Italy and totaling approximately 3MW.

RAI is also in discussions with the relevant bodies about gaining necessary authorizations for the first phase of the company’s planned 36MW hyperscale data center in Rome.

RAI is also planning to deploy its own CDN. The company said it has completed the selection of technological partners and installations, and the trial phase is scheduled for the summer of 2024. A ready-to-service version is set to be available by the end of the year.

In October, the company finalized a new three year financing contract with a pool of financial institutions for a maximum amount of €185m ($200m) to help cover some of its planned investments.

RAI announced its new Rai Way Edge project last year. The company originally said it aims to eventually develop a platform of 18 Edge data centers covering 20 Italian regions for a combined IT capacity of 3.4MW, as well as a 4MW data center in Milan, and a 40MW data center in Rome.

Originally founded in 1924 as URI, Radiotelevisione Italiana (aka RAI) is the national public broadcasting company of Italy, owned by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Its subsidiary Rai Way provides technological infrastructure across Italy, including for the state-owned RAI TV and radio stations.

Earlier this year, the company announced plans to sell a minority stake in its towers.