Located just outside the capital city Valletta, the Maltese municipality of Floriana is famous for its heritage and rich history. With origins dating back to 1634, the town is the birthplace of many famous Maltese, amongst which the composer of the national anthem, and is home to the most luxurious gardens in the Island. The EUR 15,000 WiFi4EU voucher from the European Commission comes as a perfect complement to the Council’s plan to promote the cultural heritage and facilitate new opportunities for local residents while welcoming visitors year-round.
Floriana is among the proud winners of the first WiFi4EU call, which took place in November 2018. So far, a total of 21 Maltese municipalities secured a grant during the first and second call of the WiFi4EU programme. Seeking to learn more about Floriana’s plans to improve connectivity, the WiFi4EU team sat down with its Mayor – Mrs. Davina Sammut Hili – who is eager to start the deployment of the WiFi4EU network: “it is an initiative that will benefit not only the municipality but also people visiting”
The small Maltese municipality, home to 2,100 people, is known for its buildings, churches, gardens and monuments that provide an insight into Malta’s history. The WiFi4EU hotspots will be placed in focal touristic centres to enhance the experience through digital services and interactive information panels, making it more accessible and opening up new ways to enjoy the cultural richness of Floriana. The improved Wi-Fi connection will also serve the international musical festival that attracts annually more than 10,000 visitors to the Granaries of Floriana, one of the largest urban open spaces in Malta.
Not only tourists and music lovers will enjoy the free Wi-Fi network made available across the territory, Maltese of all ages will be able to take advantage of the high-speed connection funded by the European Commission. When planning the installation of the hotspots, Mayor Sammut Hili has particularly in mind students conducting fieldwork in the gardens of the municipality and fellow citizens living abroad wanting to enjoy traditions and celebrations happening in their hometown. As the Mayor Sammut Hili explains, the WiFi4EU network will help improve the webstream of major traditional events such as the Maltese Carnival and will thus allow Maltese abroad to feel only one click away from home.
As the installation process starts and the network starts taking form, Mayor Sammut Hili is keen to spread the word and encourage other Maltese and European municipalities to apply to WiFi4EU, highlighting how small towns can benefit from the initiative!