Honk if you want a free Wi-Fi public hotspot for your parish

16 May 2018367 Views

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Street scene in Wexford. Image: Brian S/Shutterstock

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Public spaces across Ireland can vie to get free Wi-Fi hotspots under new EU scheme.

Local authorities across Ireland are being encouraged to apply to bring free Wi-Fi to public spaces in their towns and villages.

Following the launch of the European Commission’s €120m WiFi4EU initiative this week, local authorities can apply for the scheme over the next three years.

‘I am encouraging local authorities to avail of this opportunity’
– DENIS NAUGHTEN, TD

In the first call, up to 15 local authorities in Ireland can apply for vouchers up to the value of €15,000 to fund the set-up of free Wi-Fi hotspots in town and village centres, libraries, museums, and public parks or squares.

Wi-Fi vouchers

On foot of the first call for applications, local authorities can now apply for a share of the first lot of 1,000 WiFi4EU vouchers, which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis across the EU.

Local authorities can apply for up to four vouchers over the course of three years under this scheme. To ensure a geographic balance, each country will receive a minimum of 15 vouchers in the first call.

Over the next two years, there will be four more Wifi4EU calls for applications.

“Ireland has worked closely with other member states in driving this scheme and bringing it to fruition today,” said Communications Minister Denis Naughten, TD.

“I am encouraging local authorities to avail of this opportunity.

“Today marks the first call for applications across the EU, and Ireland can receive a minimum of 15 vouchers each worth €15,000, which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so I am encouraging early applications.”

The new Wi-Fi funding mechanism comes just weeks after the European Investment Bank approved €500m in new financing for Ireland’s National Broadband Plan to connect about 540,000 premises in rural Ireland to high-speed broadband.

Street scene in Wexford. Image: Brian S/Shutterstock

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com