WiFi logos over buildings in a cityscape

Free public WiFi is on the way with WiFi4EU initiative

The introduction of the initiative was welcomed by Minister Naughten.

Yesterday, Minister for Communications Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten welcomed the launch of the European Commission’s WiFi4EU Initiative.

This initiative is part of the European Commission’s strategy to create a Digital Single Market and is aimed at supporting the development of wireless broadband.

WiFi4EU offers the opportunity for local authorities to apply for a voucher, worth up to €15,000, to fund the setup of free WiFi hotspots in public spaces, like parks, squares, public buildings, libraries, health centres, and museums.

The ‘voucher’ is designed to fund the equipment and installation costs, while the recipient of the voucher will pay subscription costs for 3 years.

Local Authorities have already registered their interest in applying for the Scheme and can now apply for one of the first 1,000 vouchers, which will be allocated on a first come first served basis. There will be 4 more calls for applications over the next two years.

Speaking about the launch, Minister Naughten said: “I am delighted to finally see the launch today of WiFi4EU which will bring several new WiFi hotspots to communities across the country.”

He added that Ireland has worked closely with other Member States in driving the initiative and encouraged local authorities to take up the opportunity, saying: “Ireland can receive a minimum of 15 ‘vouchers’ each worth €15,000 which will be allocated on a first come first served basis so I am encouraging early applications.”

Don’t forget Virgin Media already offers its customers free access to Bitbuzz WiFi hotspots throughout the country - so if you can’t wait until the WiFi4EU areas are set up, this could be a good bet.

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