Plans for Europe-wide free WiFi network revealed

European Parliament, Council and Commission allocates €120 million to fund WiFi4EU initiative.

Free Wi-Fi connectivity will soon be coming to public spaces such as parks, squares, public buildings, and hospitals all over the EU thanks to a new agreement.

This comes after the European Parliament, Council and Commission have reached an agreement regarding the decision to fund the WiFi4EU project. 

The goal of the project is to provide “every European village and every city with free wireless internet access around the main centres of public life by 2020” and €120 million has been allocated to pay for the initial setup and operating costs of the project.  6,000 to 8,000 municipalities will be given a chance to participate and will be given the necessary funds to buy, install and maintain the Wi-Fi for three years while cities and towns will have to use their own funds for internet services. 

WiFi4EU will only be made available in areas where a similar free public or private Wi-Fi network is not currently available.  However, it is still unknown as to whether or not the project will be able to be setup in places where private companies offer Wi-Fi service. 

Andrus Ansip, the vice president in charge of the Digital Single Market, praised the agreement between the Parliament, Council and Commission saying:   

"The Digital Single Market strategy aims to build a fully connected Europe where everyone has access to high-quality digital networks. The WiFi4EU initiative will improve connectivity in particular where access to the internet is limited. WiFi4EU is a welcome first step, but much more needs to be done to achieve high-speed connectivity across the whole EU territory – such as improving Europe-wide coordination of spectrum and stimulating investments in the high-capacity networks that Europe needs."   

We will likely learn more about the WiFi4EU project and its feasibility once its rollout begins across the EU. 

Image Credit: Chris Oakley / Flickr