The EU's new free Wi-Fi internet hotspot scheme - free Wi-Fi equipment

What's happening?

Free wireless or Wi-Fi equipment to the tune of 120 million euros! Specifically funding for Wi-Fi equipment and installation fees.

The EU is bringing Wi-Fi to you in your parks, squares, libraries and other public buildings where Wi-Fi was not previously available.

Who is it for?

What does this mean for the average business owner or IT savvy Wi-Fi network owner and who will potentially be able to benefit from this?

  • 6,000 - 8,000 geographically distributed communities estimated to benefit
  • Small Business Owners providing public access with Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Public Libraries
  • Hospitals and Public Rehabilitation
  • Parks
  • Beaches
  • Museums
  • Government Buildings open to the public
  • Town Squares
  • Shopping Centres (open to use when shops are closed)
  • Railway Platforms where no ticket is required to be on-premises
  • Rest Stops or Truck Stops
  • Cafes and Coffee Shops that provide free access even when shop is closed

In essence, if your organisation or company can cover a space with free Wi-Fi accessible on foot by anybody, they can apply for a voucher.

How will I apply?

The EU will set up online application forms for you to complete when the bill goes live

When?

Projects will have the option to apply for EU funding by the end of 2017 or early 2018.

What's the catch?

  1. It's first come, first-serve.
  2. A similar free public or private Wi-Fi hot spot must not already exist in that area for your application to be successful
  3. If you are granted funds for the purchase of wireless equipment, the beneficiary must cover the cost of internet subscription and maintainance of the hotspot for 3 years.