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Press Release

Minister Canney congratulates Local Authorities on securing €330,000 for public WiFi hotspots

Published: 15 May 2019
From: Department of Rural and Community Development

Latest results brings Irish success total to €1.2m under EU initiative

Seán Canney TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, today welcomed the results of the second call for applications under the EU’s WiFi4EU initiative.

Speaking about the results, Minister Canney said:

“The European Commission has confirmed that Ireland has secured 22 vouchers worth €330,000 in total, to install free public WiFi hotspots in centres of public life across the country. I would like to congratulate all the successful Local Authorities on what is, once again, a great result for Ireland.
“Ireland was awarded 62 vouchers, amounting to €930,000, in 2018 under the Wifi4EU initiative. Today’s announcement by the European Commission means that €1.26M has been awarded to Irish Local Authorities so far through the Wifi4EU initiative. This is a great opportunity for communities and will be a tremendous help in providing a state of the art network of free WiFi hotspots in public spaces.”

Under the WiFi4EU initiative, each Local Authority in Ireland can apply through a competitive process for a maximum of 4 vouchers, each worth €15,000, over the lifetime of the scheme. The overall budget for the WiFi4EU scheme is €120 million between 2018 and 2020. €42 million was allocated to the first call and €51M to the second call.

The first WiFi4EU call, which took place in November 2018, was hugely successful and granted 2,800 vouchers to municipalities from all across Europe, including 62 vouchers for Ireland.

Minister Canney added:

“17 of the 31 Local Authorities in Ireland have now secured all of the vouchers available to them, and the remaining 14 Local Authorities are well on their way to doing the same. This excellent outcome is due to the efforts of the Local Authority Broadband Officers who approached the scheme with great enthusiasm and energy. Since their appointment three years ago, Broadband Officers have continually shown the benefit of their roles and this is just one example of how they are working together to improve connectivity in their communities. I want to thank them all for their hard work and wish them the best of luck in the implementation of their network.”

Two further calls for applications under WiFi4EU will take place between now and the end of the initiative in 2020. €27 million of the overall scheme budget will be allocated during this period.

The details of the today’s successful Local Authorities are as follow:

    Local Authority Number of vouchers secured
    Galway County 3 (€45,000)
    Kilkenny 3 (€45,000)
    Leitrim 1 (€15,000)
    Meath 3 (€45,000)
    Monaghan 2 (€30,000)
    Roscommon 3 (€45,000)
    Sligo 1 (€15,000)
    South Dublin 1 (€15,000)
    Westmeath 4 (€60,000)
    Wicklow 1 (€15,000)

ENDS

Note to editors

The WIFI4EU initiative

  • The WiFi4EU initiative promotes free access to Wi-Fi connectivity for citizens in public spaces including parks, squares, public buildings, libraries, health centres and museums in municipalities throughout Europe.
  • The initiative provides municipalities with the opportunity to apply for up to 4 vouchers to the value EUR 15 000 each. The vouchers are to be used to install Wi-Fi equipment in public spaces within the municipality that are not already equipped with a free Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Each successful local authority now has 18 months to select locations for the WiFi4EU hotspots and complete their installation to be ready for public use. These locations need to be ‘centres of public life’ where no other free WiFi service is already available. The service will be free of charge, free of advertising and free from commercial re-use of data.
  • The voucher may serve to purchase new equipment or upgrade old material and replace it with most recent and best available equipment on the market.
  • The budget of the WiFi4EU scheme is EUR 120 million between 2018 and 2020. It will support the installation of state-of-the-art Wi-Fi equipment in the centres of community life.
  • As a result of this second round, with the total budget of €51 million, 3,400 municipalities around the EU will receive vouchers of €15,000 to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot in public spaces.