Hard on the heels of last week’s news about San Francisco making 32 open spaces in the City free public WiFi zones, a joint statement from
the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission says they will fund the EU’s WiFi4EU programme to instal free public Wi-Fi in public squares, piazzas, parks, hospitals and other public spaces across Europe.
The scheme will cost €120 million. It is thought it will bring free public WiFi to ‘at least’ 6,000-8,000 towns and villages where WiFi would otherwise be unlikely to be installed.
Towns must apply for the money for the installation via a ‘simple and non-bureaucratic process’ says the EU. The grant will cover 100% of the cost of the installation.
The source of the funding will be decided by the Multiannual Financial Framework programme.
As in San Francisco, the programme seems a belated recognition that the important companies and innovations of the future will spring from the minds of the young, and all that the young need to start a business or incubate an idea is a connection