WiFi4EU initiative update
The European Commission has allotted 120 million euros to fund the equipment and installation costs of Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas within Europe with little to no Wi-Fi connectivity.
Almost one year has passed, since European Comission’s President Juncker brought forward the proposal, with his “State of the Union” speech, to equip 6.000 to 8.000 European municipalities with high-quality free Wi-Fi.
The WiFi4EU has set out to provide 6,000 to 8000 local communities with free high-speed connections by 2020. While the exact locations where the WiFi4EU hotspots will be installed is still to be decided and will be up to the local authorities of each member state, the initiative is said to equip public places including libraries, hospitals, parks, stations, among others.
According to the European Commission website, the EU will pay for the equipment and installation costs of the Wi-Fi hotspots and the municipality or other local public institution, also known as the beneficiary, will pay for the connectivity and maintenance of the equipment. Each beneficiary must contract the telecom operator of their choosing ensuring that it can provide free and high-quality Wi-Fi connectivity for their citizens and visitors for a minimum of 3 years.
The public institutions wanting to partake in this initiative must apply through an online platform dedicated to the applicants of this project, and propose to equip areas where similar offers of free Wi-Fi connectivity do not exist in the same location. The projects selected are said to be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis as each member state will only have a limited amount of vouchers available to give out.
The European Commission released this statement on their decision.
For more information on the Wi-Fi4EU initiative, check out the European Commission – Fact Sheet
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in June 2017 and has been updated for accuracy as more details on the WiFI4EU initiative have since come to light.
For more information about how to deploy a Wi-Fi network in a public space, Tanaza Authorized Partner, Tacira technologies works together with municipalities to offer smart services to its citizen, such as smart street lighting and garbage collection.