Free Internet in every city and village of the European Union? This sounds a little unbelievably, but the idea makes sense. The WiFi4EU project aims to create a network of free Wi-Fi hotspots in each city and every village in all member countries. Of course, the priority will be those places where there is no Internet access or it is rare.
The WiFi4EU project is also not designed to create an international Wi-Fi network that would be available literally everywhere. So easily accessible free Internet would disturb the current telecommunications market. The European Union wants every European to have access to the Internet. Therefore, the financing of installation of free Wi-Fi hotspots will be allocated 120 million euros. It is estimated that this amount is sufficient for investment in 6 000 – 8 000 localiies. By 2020, we will have free Internet available in major public places such as squares, parks, pizzerias, cafes, hospitals, offices, etc.
The WiFi4EU initiative is part of the Digital Single Market strategy.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced this strategy in May 2015. Within this framework, European roaming charges were abolished and the 700 MHz band was allocated on the next-generation cellular networks. Let’s go back to the subject. What exactly is the WiFi4EU program to do? After all, we know that there is nothing for free, and free Wi-Fi networks are clogged up fast and stop functioning. Also, no one will provide Internet link with good parameters for free.
Funds for the construction of free Wi-Fi hotspots may be requested by entities performing public missions, such as municipalities, health centres, universities, schools, public libraries, etc. The funds may be used solely for the purchase of equipment and its installation. On the other hand, the applicant will have to pay for the cost of maintaining the internet connection (i.e. subscription) and maintenance of the equipment. Hopefully, this will not discourage officials from applying for funding.
As the WiFi4EU project will be already launched in your locality, we encourage you to test the speed of free internet from the European Union using our tester available on the web or via the mobile app.