59 town centres and public spaces in Ireland to get free Wi-Fi

12 Dec 2018812 Views

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Galway city. Image: Jarrycz/Depositphotos

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Free, open access Wi-Fi hotspots may be coming to a parish near you!

59 public areas across Ireland have been granted funding to provide free, open access Wi-Fi under a €120m European initiative called WiFi4EU.

A total of €885,000 in funding has been secured by local authorities across Ireland to provide the service. This funding comes in the form of vouchers, worth €15,000 each, distributed to the successful local authorities.

‘Local authorities across Ireland now have an opportunity to install Wi-Fi in their villages, towns and cities, in parks and hospitals, libraries and town squares’
– SEÁN CANNEY

The Department of Rural and Community Development will match the funding provided by the European Commission, potentially doubling the value of the investment in public Wi-Fi networks.

Each successful local authority now has 18 months to select locations for the WiFi4EU hotspots and complete their installation to be ready for public use.

WiFi4EU and your town

These locations need to be “centres of public life” where no other free Wi-Fi service is already available. The WiFi4EU service will be free of charge, free of advertising and free from commercial reuse of data.

The vouchers were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

“This is a fantastic result for Ireland; Irish local authorities applied for 105 vouchers and secured 59 of them,” explained Minister for State at the Department of Rural and Community Development Seán Canney, TD.

“This will bring free Wi-Fi hotspots to many public spaces throughout the country and will vastly improve connectivity in communities. I am also very pleased to confirm that the Department of Rural and Community Development will match all successful vouchers with a further allocation of up to €15,000. I hope that this contribution will help local authorities in developing an even more substantial network of free public Wi-Fi hotspots.

He added: “Local authorities across Ireland now have an opportunity to install Wi-Fi in their villages, towns and cities, in parks and hospitals, libraries and town squares, and I wish them all the best in their endeavours.”

New to the parish

The successful local authorities are as follows: 

Local authority Number of vouchers secured
Carlow 4 (€60,000)
Cavan 4 (€60,000)
Clare 2 (€30,000)
Cork city 1 (€15,000)
Donegal 4 (€60,000)
Dublin city 4 (€60,000)
Fingal 4 (€60,000)
Galway city 4 (€60,000)
Galway county 1 (€15,000)
Kerry 4 (€60,000)
Kildare 1 (€15,000)
Leitrim 2 (€30,000)
Limerick city and county 4 (€60,000)
Longford 1 (€15,000)
Mayo 4 (€60,000)
Meath 1 (€15,000)
Offaly 2 (€30,000)
Sligo 1 (€15,000)
Tipperary 4 (€60,000)
Waterford city and county 4 (€60,000)
Wicklow 3 (€45,000)

Galway city. Image: Jarrycz/Depositphotos

John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist who served as editor of Siliconrepublic.com for 17 years.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com