The European Commission promotes free Wi-Fi connectivity for citizens and visitors in public spaces like parks, squares, public building, libraries, health centers and museums everywhere in Europe through WiFi4EU.
The budget of the WiFi4EU scheme is EUR 120 million and it takes place between 2017-2019. It will support the installation of state-of-the-art Wi-Fi equipment in the centres of community life. The first call for projects was launched on March 20 and tomorrow the first batch of communities will be announced.
Romania has a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 80 vouchers in this first call. The principle is the first come, the first served, just like a concert ticket.
”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”, says Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission.
The WiFi4EU scheme will be disbursed in a geographically balanced manner, so that high-speed connections can benefit both residents and visitors of thousands of local communities across the EU – at least 6,000 to 8,000 local communities by 2020.
The WiFi4EU scheme will be open to public sector bodies – typically local municipalities, libraries, health centres, etc. It will fund the equipment and installation costs (internet access points), while the beneficiary will pay for the connectivity (internet subscription) and maintenance in good order of the equipment for 3 years.
The local authorities will be encouraged to develop and promote their own digital services in areas such as e-government, e-health and e-tourism through a dedicated app.
The WiFi4EU scheme will be delivered through simple and non-bureaucratic procedures such as online applications, payments by vouchers and light-touch monitoring requirements.
The projects will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. Project promoters applying to the scheme should propose to equip areas where a free public or a private Wi-Fi hotspot offering similar characteristics does not already exist.
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