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

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The budget of the WiFi4EU scheme is EUR 120 million between 2017-2019. It will support the installation of state-of-the-art Wi-Fi equipment in the centres of community life.

Everyone benefiting from connectivity means that it should not matter where you live or how much you earn. So we propose today to equip every European village and every city with free wireless internet access around the main centres of public life by 2020.
Jean-Claude Juncker - State of the Union speech, September 2016

Who will benefit?

All Europeans

The WiFi4EU scheme will be disbursed in a geographically balanced manner, so that high-speed connections can benefit both residents and visitors of thousands of local communities across the EU - at least 6,000 to 8,000 local communities by 2020.

Local public bodies

The WiFi4EU scheme will be open to public sector bodies – typically local municipalities, libraries, health centres, etc. 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.

The 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.

How to apply for WiFi4EU?

The WiFi4EU scheme will be delivered through simple and non-bureaucratic procedures such as online applications, payments by vouchers and light-touch monitoring requirements.

The projects will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. Project promoters applying to the scheme should propose to equip areas where a free public or a private Wi-Fi hotspot offering similar characteristics does not already exist.

The first call for projects is expected to be launched towards the end of 2017 or early 2018.

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Investment in High-Capacity Networks (Unit B.5)
Published: 
22 September 2016
Last update: 
20 September 2017