The European Commission (EC) launched its WiFi4EU web portal project, inviting municipalities across Europe to register details for the chance to benefit from a $120 million EU fund to build free public wireless internet hotspots.
In a statement, the EC said municipalities can now register to apply for the first lot of 1,000 WiFi4EU vouchers, available from mid-May, which will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.
The project got the nod from the European Parliament to launch in October 2017.
WiFi4EU offers vouchers worth €15,000 to applicants for municipalities to set up Wi-Fi hotspots in public spaces including libraries, museums, public parks and squares. The project is open until 2020.
The commission said municipalities can use vouchers to purchase and install Wi-Fi equipment in their chosen centres of local public life. The cost for maintaining the network will be covered by the municipality.
EC president Jean-Claude Juncker previously said the WiFI4EU initiative aims to connect “every European village and every city with free wireless internet access around the main centres of public life by 2020”.
The €120 million pot is available to fund equipment for public free Wi-Fi services in up to 8,000 municipalities in all Member States, as well as Norway and Iceland.