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WiFi4EU free public WiFi competition launches November 7

01.11.2018

WiFi4EU competition, under the European Commission’s initiative for free public WiFi access, will be launched on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. Some 229 Bulgarian municipalities have already applied for participation. The day the competition is open representatives of the Bulgarian local authorities who have already applied, will only have to press the register button. The remaining 36 municipalities have enough time until November 7 to apply and participate in the competition. They could win coupons amounting to 15 000 Euro to provide free high-speed WiFi connection across the public centers of the corresponding municipality.

“Our team is in regular touch with the local authorities to ensure full awareness on the application process. Once again, I urge municipalities to be active the day the competition launches as the wining application will be selected on the first-come-first-served principle”, commented the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, Rossen Jeliazkov. He further added that Internet connectivity is of key importance for the economic development of smaller towns. Minister Jeliazkov highlighted that high-speed Internet provides easy access to health, education, financial and administrative services without the need for the citizens to travel to bigger cities. “In the meantime, Internet connectivity will make smaller towns more attractive for investors and tourists as local communities will be able to show their potential in the world web”, added the Minister.

EC’s initiative for free public Internet has a budget of 120 million Euro by the end of 2019. The funds will be allocated directly to local authorities. Between 6 000 and 8 000 EU municipalities will be awarded coupons to provide free public high-speed Internet. The present competition will select 2 800 participants for financing.

Municipalities could use the coupons to purchase and install equipment or improve the existing WiFi network across the public municipal centers. Local authorities have to guarantee they have enough possibility to support the network and pay the corresponding fees in the next three years in the least.