The Digital Champions of Cyprus, Stelios Himonas, is involved in a few initiatives which aim to bring more people digital and to fight against the digital division in his country. One of the projects aims to bring free Wi-Fi access in rural and urban areas.
Below you can find a short description.

Target:  Create necessary infrastructure in every community of the island aiming to provide free access to the internet

Main players: The Cyprus digital Champion, the Cyprus Union of Communities, Productivity Center, The Academy of Public management and Personnel and private entities (MTN, Microsoft, etc).

Kick-off: on the 7/01/2013 took place the first meeting with key players

This action is expected to:

  • Help / develop and upgrade the rural areas by creating positive financial activity climate,
  • Improve the quality of life in rural area
  • Contribute to the fighting against urbanism
  • Assist the growth of agro tourism.

The action will be consisting of the following:

  • Wifi hot spots – the community will cover the purchase cost (100-300€) and the connection fee (35-50€/month)
  • Collection of real need for the communities – Universities will assist to the evaluation of the needs and the preparation of the tender documents.
  • The Cy-DC will launch a campaign to inform people about the potential benefits resulting from the use on internet. 
  • The Cy-DC will coordinate the training of representatives from each community concerning their ability to use the internet and assist others (digital ambassadors) to accomplish everyday tasks (road tax license renewal, payments through the internet, submission of tax forms, etc) .

Time to execute/accomplish the action: The action has already started, the communities have been informed and all of them have shown a very positive approach.  The local Universities are engaged in the evaluation of the communities needs as well as in the necessary procedure to attain value for money for the necessary purchase of equipment and connections.