The European Union provides nearly 1000 vouchers to install free Wi-Fi in Italian cities. Here's how it works
In the last two years the squares of Italian municipalities with free Wi-Fi have multiplied. It's thanks to the European program Wifi4Eu, which provides funds to municipalities for the installation of free hotspots in public places.
The fourth, and last, announcement of Wifi4Eu will arrive soon. The program provides for the provision of vouchers worth 15,000 euros, to cover the costs incurred to install Wi-Fi equipment. On March 3, the European Union launched the last call and the possibility to submit requests for access to funding from 13:00 on March 17 to 17:00 on March 18. Municipalities, therefore, will have a very narrow time window and will have to hurry. A total of 947 vouchers will be awarded, for a total of 14.2 million euros of fundable expenses to offer free Wi-Fi to citizens and tourists in European cities.
Free Wi-Fi: the procedure
Already since November 2018, the date of the launch of the first call for Wifi4Eu, the European Union has made available a dedicated portal to advance voucher requests. It is called the Wifi4Eu Portal and can be found at https://wifi4eu.ec.europa.eu/#/home. Both municipalities and associations of municipalities, such as mountain communities, can participate in the call. The call provides that each EU Member State has a minimum number of vouchers available. From the same portal you can also register in the list of companies that install equipment for Wi-Fi, in which you can also specify the geographical areas in which the company is operating. However, each municipality is then free to choose which company to entrust the work.
Free Wi-Fi in 26,581 municipalities
The European municipalities that have already participated in the Wifi4Eu program and received the voucher are 26,581. The hotspots have been installed in various public places: from parks to squares, from libraries to health centers. Any public place, in fact, can be equipped with Wi-Fi connection with the support of Wifi4Eu but the request must come from the Administration of the Municipality where the place to be connected is located. In addition, each municipality can apply for a maximum of one voucher and, consequently, if it has already participated in a call for proposals with success, it can no longer participate in subsequent ones. The method by which the winning municipalities of the vouchers are selected is that of "first-come, first-served": the first to arrive wins, in strict chronological order of submission of applications.