By Claus Hetting, CEO & Chairman Wi-Fi NOW
Today the European Parliament approved a €120 million spending package that will offer free Wi-Fi at some 6,000 locations across the EU also known as WiFi4EU.
The European Parliament’s official statement found here describes the scheme as “free of charge and without discriminatory conditions.” Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of funding the WiFi4EU initiative with 582 votes against 98.
6,000 locations with common authentication
The EU-funded program is expected to bring free Wi-Fi to more than 6,000 cities across the Union. While the program will offer grants to be used on network CAPEX and installation, grant recipients – meaning any public body within an EU member state – will need to cover operational costs. The European Commission is expected to mandate common authentication for the service, such that the same access credentials can be used on all WiFi4EU networks.
The last hurdle is cleared
The European Parliament’s vote clears the last hurdle for WiFi4EU and the Wi-Fi industry across Europe can – and should – now prepare in earnest for the next steps. System integrators, deployment companies, equipment OEMs, service providers and not least city governments will need to develop their vision for how these grants are most wisely and effectively spent.
Join Wi-Fi NOW in The Hague this fall for more
At Wi-Fi NOW we’re also delighted to announce that we’re doing our part to support the initiative: At Wi-Fi NOW in The Hague this October 31 – November 2, the European Commission’s decision makers and the united European Wi-Fi industry will be zooming in on the opportunities & next steps for WiFi4EU. Read more here.
Wi-Fi NOW is already consulting to the European Commission on WiFi4EU. For more read here.