By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW Chairman & CEO
If you’re an EU municipality and you don’t manage to get your €15,000 WiFi4EU grant with which to build free Wi-Fi then don’t worry because Germany-based leading Wi-Fi vendor LANCOM Systems says they’ve got you covered. The company says it will offer up to the equivalent value in equipment discounts.
Last month the European Commission’s application process and portal for municipalities to secure €15,000 in grant funding towards free Wi-Fi crashed. In fact, the opening of the application portal and the EC’s ‘first-come-first-served’ approach appeared to set off a veritable stampede of eleven thousand applicants from across Europe racing to secure their Wi-Fi money.
Clearly, with at least 11,000 applicants and roughly 8,000 grant portions available, not every municipality who wants a grant will be able to get one. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back, says Germany’s LANCOM Systems from Germany. “We’ve decided to offer significant discounts to municipalities who wish to build WiFi4EU-style Wi-Fi services, even up to the full grant amount of €15,000,” says LANCOM Systems VP of Wireless LAN and Switches, Jan Buis.
“Even within Germany, we know for a fact that not all applicants will be able to get a grant from the EC. But of course, we still want to support the growth of public Wi-Fi in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. That’s why we’ve decided to embark on this program of special conditions that apply anywhere within the EU and also to non-EU countries like Switzerland and Norway,” Jan Buis says.
The EU’s WiFi4EU free Wi-Fi grant program was announced by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in September of 2016. Since then the EC has been preparing the processes that will eventually result in the handing out of €120 million in grants to pay for Wi-Fi network equipment and installations across Europe.
After the technical glitch last month, the EC now says it will lump together the first two ‘calls’ (allocation rounds) into one round due to happen some time this fall. The WiFi4EU program is expected to continue into 2020. Read more here.
LANCOM Systems – privately owned and headquartered in Würselen near Aachen in Germany – is today the only native European manufacturer of enterprise-grade Wi-Fi solutions. LANCOM is also Germany’s second-largest provider of enterprise-grade Wi-Fi systems. Just this month LANCOM Systems reported a 2017 financial result with revenues of €58 million representing a remarkable yearly growth rate of 17% .
For more about LANCOM System’s WiFi4EU support program, read here.