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Mittwoch, 28.06.2017
eGovernment Forschung | eGovernment Research 2001 - 2017

European Union leaders last month announced a plan to invest more than $127 million to provide free Wi-Fi services in thousands of cities on the continent. Dubbed WiFi4EU, the plan calls for providing funding to between 6,000 and 8,000 cities in order to deploy free public Wi-Fi.

“Everyone benefiting from connectivity means that it should not matter where you live or how much you earn,” said Jean-Paul Juncker, president of the European Commission and former prime minister of Luxembourg, last year during his state of the union address. “So we propose today to equip every European village and every city with free wireless internet ac­cess around the main centers of public life by 2020.”

The idea is to allow “entities with a public mission” to apply for funding to cover “equipment and installation costs,” according to published materials. Following the deployment, “the local entity will pay for the connectivity (internet subscription) and maintenance in good order of the equipment. Local authorities will be encouraged to develop and promote their own digital services in areas such as e-government, e-health and e-tourism.”

The funding plan needs approval from the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. If the measure passes both rounds of scrutiny, a call for projects will open with funding delivered on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications will be completed online with funding provided via vouchers.

Wi-Fi analyst Claus Hetting said the funding would be “a huge boost to the Wi-Fi industry in Europe and not least provide lots of underserved communities with free internet access. Both are likely to stimulate job creation and – with some creativity and thoughtful effort – would create a new platform for more public bodies to enter the digital age.”

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Sean Kinney

Quelle/Source: RCR Wireless News, 20.01.2017

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