A number of regional initiatives have recently revived the Italian broadband sector, although their fortunes vary depending on governance, market and geographical issues. However, all these initiatives jointly succeeded in sparking a heated debate on how public–private interplay can facilitate the deployment of broadband networks in a country still lagging behind European frontrunners such as Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. In the light of European Union regulation and recent case law, the paper examines three regional initiatives (Progetto Banda Ultra Larga Lombardia, Trentino Network and Lepida Emilia Romagna) by using the conceptual model on public private interplay developed by Nucciarelli, Sadowski, and Achard (2010). Thereafter, the paper elaborates on initiatives' ups and downs to focus on conditions and trigger events that have made them a success or a failure story. Lessons learnt conclude.