Today from 13:00 CET European countries will be able to apply for the first 1,000 WiFi4EU vouchers. The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker claims: ‘Everyone benefiting from connectivity means that it should not matter where you live or how much you earn. So we propose today to equip every European village and every city with free wireless internet access around the main centres of public life by 2020.’
The Commission comments: ‘The EU is bringing Wi-Fi into your parks, squares, libraries and public buildings.’ The budget for connecting all the European municipalities to the wireless internet is €120 million between 2017 and 2019.
The WiFi4EU vouchers provide a fixed amount of funding of €15,000 per municipality, enough to cover the equipment and installation costs of Wi-Fi hotspots. They will be given on a first come, first served basis. However, to ensure the balance, each country will receive a minimum of 15 vouchers.
Taking part in the program, the municipalities commit to paying for the internet subscription and maintenance of the equipment to offer free and high-quality Wi-Fi connectivity for at least 3 years. For those who will miss it this time, four more WiFi4EU calls will be launched in the next two years.
Text: Alexandra Rumiantseva, picture: © pixabay.com