WiFi4EU – free Wi-Fi for Europeans. Round 3 to open to applications on 19 September.

Sometimes regarded as Jean-Claude Junker’s legacy, the European Commission is promoting 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.

The next call (Round 3) for applications will open on Thursday 19 September at 13:00 (Central European Summer Time). Please note that there is normally a very short application window of 24 or 48 hours.

The call is open to:

o Municipalities (i.e. local authorities), and
o Associations formed by Municipalities acting on behalf of their members.

A list of eligible areas can be found on the European Commission website. For UK areas click on the ‘UK’ link on the list of eligible entries for each participating country.

The application process is relatively straightforward and simply consists of local authorities registering their interest. The selection of successful towns appears to be something of a lottery. 7 or 8 UK areas are normally successful in each round.

The budget of the WiFi4EU initiative is EUR 120 million between 2018 and 2020. It will support the installation of state-of-the-art Wi-Fi equipment in the centres of community life.

The WiFi4EU voucher will cover the equipment and installation costs of Wi-Fi hotspots. Municipalities receiving a voucher should pay for the connectivity (internet subscription) and maintenance of the equipment to offer free and high-quality Wi-Fi connectivity for at least 3 years.

Further information, including details of how to register for Round 3, can be found on the European Commission website.