Caligari (Sardenia, Italy) based Tiscali S.p.A. was formed back in 1997 by Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Renato Soru. Tiscali was granted a licence to provide telephone services in Sardenia and the metropolitan areas of Rome and Milan in April 1998. In the same year, the company launched their first regional telephone services by selling pre-paid telephone cards, and it introduced Internet access services on the Island of Sardenia. In 1999, service offers were extended throughout Italy. In early 1999, Tiscali launched its TiscalifreeNET service, Italy's first "free" Internet access service allowing users to connect to the Internet at local rates in Sardenia and in the areas of Rome and Milan. Later that year, Tiscali went public to raise capital for further expansion and, today, Tiscali's shares are traded at "Nuovo Mercato" stock exchange of Milan in Italy, and at "Nouveau March" in Paris, France.