Digital Single Market: EU negotiators agree on the WiFi4EU initiative

Economy - published on 17 July 2017

European Commission – Press release

The European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission reached tonight a political agreement on the WiFi4EU initiative and its funding which supports installing free public Wi-Fi
hotspots in local communities across the EU: in public squares, piazzas, parks, hospitals and other indoor or outdoor public spaces.

As stated
by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker
, the
initiative will contribute to the vision of having “every European village and every city with free wireless internet ac­cess around the main centres of public life by

Vice-President in charge of the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip welcomed tonight’s agreement and said:”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 with the purpose of helping build the high-capacity networks that Europe needs.”

The political agreement includes a commitment by the three institutions to ensure that an overall amount of €120 million shall be assigned to fund equipment for public free Wi-Fi services
in 6,000 to 8,000 municipalities in all Member States. The specific sources of the funding will be finalised in the ongoing legislative discussions on the review of the current Multiannual
Financial Framework programme. Local authorities will be able to apply for funding once the system is set up.

More details are available in the full press release

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