Europe’s digital transformation by 2030 relies on providing citizens with access to a gigabit connectivity and 5G services. Europe digital decade begins with the relaunch of European Broadband Awards for 2021! All projects advanced in implementation, big or small, rural or urban, private or public, local, regional, national or cross-border, and covering all technologies are welcome to apply for the 2021 awards. The application deadline is the 17th of September 2021. The winners will receive an EU Broadband Award in the Autumn and will be showcased by the European Commission in the media, EU websites, newsletters and in the broadband good practices database.
Investment in High-Capacity Networks (Unit B.5)
As part of the Catalonian citizens’ initiative, Guifi.net, volunteers have helped install over 40,000 nodes, connecting 100,000 rural inhabitants. In this video, Ramon Roca, Guifi.net founder, explains how, since its foundation, the project has driven demand as well as rural development, becoming both a “local ecosystem” and a business model, and growing increasingly affordable as it expands. Driven by volunteers, Guifi.net focuses on building the infrastructure and cooperation between public administrations, local entrepreneurs and ISPs, among others.
Calais is the first Dutch broadband project funded by the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund (CEBF). The province of Groningen approached CEBF when they recognised their need for additional funding as well as a more strategic partner to reach the most remote areas. The resulting partnership will bring NGA access to over 100,000 inhabitants, combining fibre with a fixed wireless network for the hardest-to-reach areas. In this video, Jan Peter de Groot, Rodin Group CEO, explains that the pandemic made it very clear that people in all areas need to be able to “connect with the whole world”.
WiFi4EU provides free access to public Wi-Fi in parks, schools, public buildings, health centres throughout Europe. WiFi4EU networks are free of charge, free of data harvesting and free of advertisements. One voucher per municipality = €15,000
This series of webinars will cover the Connecting Europe Facility Digital (CEF2 Digital) programme application process; green procurement; last mile connection policy and technology; 5G; and the Recovery and Resilience Facility in relation to connectivity. Registration is open to all members of the European Broadband Competence Offices (BCOs) Network. The agenda will be made available to participants directly.
As of 1 April 2021, the new European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) will take over the implementation of the WiFi4EU programme from the current Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA).
In order to bring significant improvement to the digitalisation of the cargo and cruising industry in the North of Europe, the German regional Broadband Competence Office (BCO) of Lower Saxony launched a mobile connectivity project deploying 5G infrastructure in the Bay of Germany in the North Sea. As Peer Beyersdorff explains in this video, conditions at sea and the Earth’s curvature make mobile telecommunication challenging. The project serves one of the busiest sea routes in the world, enabling safer passage, more reliable communication and important services for both trade and tourism.
Rede Aberta is the first Spanish broadband project to be funded by the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund (CEBF). To promote economic growth, stop depopulation and rejuvenate the population of rural Galicia, the open access network will bring 10 Gbps symmetrical fibre connectivity to 400,000 homes. In this video, Pere Antentas, Rede Aberta CEO, explains that the project will help the population take advantage of the area’s “enormous growth potential” and natural resources. It “will allow the telecommunication networks and services to be at the same level as the ones in the big cities of Europe”.
With 30% of EU farms being managed by women, these farmers are key in driving the digital transformation of rural areas. As explained by Lotta Folkesson, an arable farmer in northern Sweden, high-speed connectivity is needed to allow the use of cutting edge technology in both agriculture and forestry, as well for everyday management. On top of this, it enables entrepreneurship and allows remote area inhabitants to connect with the wider community. “With good infrastructure, we will have a stronger farming community as well as better conditions to attract more people to rural areas”.
This brochure gives an overview of the WiFi4EU programme. It shows the magnitude of the Wi-Fi hot spots in the EU and the simplicity of the programme: from application to installation.
This online workshop will discuss and posit solutions to the principal connectivity challenges of the EU's Outermost Regions, including sub-marine cables, the new standard for Very High-Capacity Networks (VHCN), and being heard in broadband programming discussions. Registration is open to all members of the European Broadband Competence Offices (BCOs) Network. The agenda will be made available to participants directly.
Known as one of Hungary’s capitals of wine, Villány is a municipality located in the southernmost region of the country and it gives name to the renowned red wine. Underneath its sun-kissed vineyards lies Villány’s knack for digital tourism and commitment to becoming a Smart City. The WiFi4EU team spoke with Mayor István Mayer and Deputy Gabriella Bojcsev to discover more about how WiFi4EU fits in the digital plan of the town.
Copernicus – the EU’s Earth Observation and Monitoring Programme – analyses our planet and its environment for the benefit of European citizens. Large volumes of data flow in from satelites, land and marine systems and provide important insights on weather modelling, climate change and more to both public and private entities, for free. To do this, Copernicus relies heavily on good connectivity, as described by Dr. Fernando Belda-Esplugues in this video.
Given the confinement and social distancing measures still in place in several Member States, the European Commission has decided to grant an extension of the installation period to all WIFi4EU beneficiaries in order to allow every concerned municipality to complete their projects.
Ireland has been awarded 114 WiFi4EU vouchers. Learn more about how the national government and local authorities have partnered up with the European Commission to ensure connectivity for all.
The municipality of Akranes is an Icelandic gem nestled between two fjords. Thanks to WiFi4EU, residents and tourists can enjoy free access to connectivity when admiring the city's main attraction, including the famous Akranes Folk Museum.
Hungary has been awarded 325 WiFi4EU vouchers. Learn more about how free connectivity is benefitting citizens of all ages and contributing to the digitisation of the tourism industry.
The Finnish municipality of Lapinjärvi has channeled the EUR 15,000 WiFi4EU voucher towards improved services for children and the elderly in order to involve all age groups in the digital transformation.
What is WiFi4EU? Where can I find it? What are the benefits of free access to connectivity? Learn more about the initiative in the new WiFi4EU video!
2021 is the final year of the first phase of the BCO Network: the European Commission initiative to support Member States to reach the connectivity targets and ensure high-speed broadband access for all citizens. The work plan for this year will seek to reinforce and expand the capacity of European BCOs to meet these objectives, while increasing recognition of their mandate within their national contexts, and strengthening their collaborative relationship with the European Commission.