Following last week´s announcement of the winners of the second WiFi4EU call, we are excited to publish more information on the results of the call, including the list of applicants with time of application and the breakdown of applications and vouchers per participating country.
As the list of applications in Table 1 shows, municipalities have been incredibly fast and three countries (Italy, Spain and Germany) reached the maximum amount of vouchers available per country within the first 13 seconds! Winning municipalities are selected on a “first-come, first-served” rule based on the date and time of the submission of their application. While a maximum and minimum number of vouchers per country are established to ensure balanced geographical distribution, rapidity is the first and main determinant in the selection. Since the total number of available vouchers is set, the faster the motivated municipalities apply, the less vouchers remain for the slower applicants.
WiFi4EU is expected to contribute to bridging the digital divide, especially in communities that lag behind in terms of digital literacy. As the list of winning municipalities revealed, not only capitals and big cities will be equipped with free Wi-Fi hotspots, but WiFi4EU is also reaching rural regions and European territories around the world.
Finally, we note that 71% of the winners of the second call are municipalities that were not successful in the first call and decided to re-apply. This demonstrates continued interest in the WiFi4EU initiative, which promotes free access to Wi-Fi connectivity for citizens in public spaces throughout Europe.
Table 2 provides the breakdown of the number of valid applications per participating country as well as the number of winners. On average per country, 54% of European municipalities who applied in the second call were successful. As a comparison, during the previous call in November 2018, 45% of applicants were granted a voucher. Therefore, on average the rate of success per country increased by 9%. This increase in winning municipalities compared to applicants concerns both small and big countries, as all participating countries compete on equal terms.