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Local authorities can apply for free Wi-Fi hotspots from 7 Nov

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Local authorities can apply for free Wi-Fi hotspots from 7 Nov

Photo © Anatoly Vartanov - Fotolia

(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission launched a call for applications for the scheme 'WiFi4EU', the EU scheme to promote free Wi-Fi connectivity in public spaces throughout Europe, at 1pm on 7 November.

The WiFi4EU scheme provides free Wi-Fi connectivity for citizens and visitors in parks, squares, public building, libraries, health centres, and museums everywhere in Europe.

The call, which is open to municipalities or groups of municipalities in the EU, will be open until 17:00 (CET) on 9 November.

EUR 120 million will available for up to 8,000 municipalities across the EU by 2020. In order to process very large numbers of applications across Europe, the application procedure is simple and fully online.

Once they have registered in the dedicated WiFi4EU portal, municipalities will be able to apply online for the €15,000 WiFi4EU scheme voucher with just one click.

The WiFi4EU voucher will cover the equipment and installation costs of Wi-Fi hotspots. Municipalities receiving a voucher should pay for the connectivity (internet subscription) and maintenance of the equipment to offer free and high-quality Wi-Fi connectivity for at least 3 years.

So far over one in five municipalities all over Europe has registered their details. Municipalities that have not registered and wish to apply for a voucher, can still register on the portal until the start of the call on 7 November.

With the voucher, the municipality will be able to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot in public spaces, including town halls, public libraries, museums, public parks or squares.

The Commission is selecting projects on a "first-come, first-served" basis. In the upcoming call, the first 2,800 municipalities will get a WiFi4EU voucher, with each EU Member State being guaranteed to receive at least 15 vouchers.

In the coming two years, three more WiFi4EU calls will be launched, approximately one every 6 months.

WiFi4EU-funded networks will be free of charge, free of advertising and free of personal data harvesting. Funding will be provided for networks that do not duplicate existing free private or public offers of a similar quality. More information is available online in the factsheet and video.

WIFI4EU - background information

WIFI4EU - Free Wi-Fi for Europeans

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