WiFi4EU is an initiative of the European Commission aiming to promote free Wi-Fi connectivity for citizens and visitors in public spaces such as parks, squares, public buildings, libraries, health centres, and museums everywhere in Europe.
The budget for the WiFi4EU project is EUR 120 million (2018-2020). Municipalities and municipal associations all across Europe can apply for vouchers providing a fixed amount of funding of EUR 15 000 per municipality.
The voucher covers the equipment and installation costs of state-of-the-art Wi-Fi hotspots and is paid directly to the infrastructure contractor, once the participating municipality confirms that the network is fully installed and functional.
The Municipalities have to cover the connectivity (internet subscription) and maintenance costs of the equipment for at least 3 years.
WiFI4EU in Sofia Municipality
In 2020, Sofia Municipality received a voucher under the WiFi4EU initative. The City installed 22 high-class wireless access points, providing free 100 Mbit/s Wi-Fi covering the area starting from Vitoshka Street (St.Nedelya Church) up to the National Palace of Culture and the Lovers Bridge.
The devices are managed and monitored by a dedicated portal at Sofia Municipality and can provide simultaneous uninterrupted service to a large number of users. Any first-time user of the WiFi4EU network must agree to the general terms and conditions set by the European Commission (they apply to all participating municipalities). Then the user will be remembered by the system and automatically connected to WiFi4EU zones available in Bulgaria and all across Europe.
OFFICIAL WEBPAGE OF THE INITIATIVE: WiFi4EU
“Everyone benefiting from connectivity means that it should not matter where you live or how much you earn. So we propose today to equip every European village and every city with free wireless internet access around the main centres of public life by 2020.” (Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission)