The first European municipalities to benefit from EU funding under the WiFi4EU scheme have been announced, giving citizens from the length and breadth of Europe the chance to benefit from free Wi-Fi connectivity where they live.

More than 13,000 municipalities from 30 different countries (every EU Member State plus Norway and Iceland) applied to take part in the scheme during a first call for proposals in early November. The first 2,800 winners will each receive a voucher worth €15,000 to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot in public spaces for the benefit of citizens and businesses there.

Congratulations to all those places that were successful, from the Arctic Circle in the north to the southern shores of the Mediterranean in the south and from far-flung outposts of Europe in the west to the borders of Asia in the east. You have a great opportunity to show the truly tangible benefits of the European Union to your citizens.

And for all those places that were unsuccessful this time, there will be more opportunities to get vouchers in the months ahead, with the next call planned already for early 2019.

In total, around 8,000 municipalities will be able to benefit from free Wi-Fi by 2020, at a total cost of €120 million, under the WiFi4EU scheme. In order to make sure that the money is shared evenly across all participating countries, the Commission guarantees a minimum and maximum number of vouchers for every country.

Municipalities and Wi-Fi installation companies interested in taking part in the scheme should register on the Wifi4EU portal as soon as possible - remember, you have to be registered in advance to take part in any of the future calls. And while you are waiting for the next call to be announced, why not join the Wifi4EU community where you can give feedback on the initiative, join in the discussion with municipalities from all over Europe and receive the latest updates on the WiFi4EU scheme.