The European Commission is seeking to promote free Wi-Fi connectivity in public spaces such as parks, squares, public building, libraries, health centres, and museums everywhere in Europe through WiFi4EU.

Approved by the European Commission in September 2017, the WiFi4EU initiative aims to deliver free, public Wi-Fi to between 6,000 and 8,000 local communities by 2020. The €120 million budget will cover equipment and installation costs for access points, while local authorities will be responsible for subscription and maintenance costs.

The WiFi4EU scheme will be open to public sector bodies – typically local authorities. 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.

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.

Community centres and other community venues can apply to the WiFi4EU programme for funding to support the installation of WiFi equiment, to allow users of the centres to access the internet. Eligible venues include: parks, town squares, public buildings, libraries, health centres, museums, or any other public spaces

The EU programme issues vouchers on a first-come, first-served basis.

Did you know you could qualify for €15,000 of WiFi funding from the EU? With the WiFi4EU programme, the European Union aims to support the installation of WiFi equipment in community centres, benefiting European citizens and visitors. The EU will issue vouchers on a first-come, first-served basis to fund equipment and installation costs of WiFi hotspots.

The May 2018 call for applications has recently been cancelled, with the European Commission citing technical  difficulties with its roll out.  The programme will reopen in the autumn. Local authorities in the UK can register their interest on the Europa website.