European lawmakers approved €120M plan for free EU WI-FI

EU grants will be given to local authorities to establish free wireless connections in outdoor spaces accessible to the general public: libraries, public administrations, hospitals

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European lawmakers on Tuesday approved a multi-million-euro scheme to set up free wi-fi access in public areas across the bloc.

Under the three-year plan, €120 million ($141 million) in EU grants will be given to local authorities to establish “free wi-fi connections in centers of public life, including outdoor spaces accessible to the general public: libraries, public administrations, hospitals”.

Six thousand communities across the EU can benefit from the scheme on a “first-come, first-served” basis, the European Parliament said in a statement.

Portuguese Socialist MEP Carlos Zorrinho, who drafted lawmakers’ response to the scheme, said the WIFI4EU Initiative was “a strong political vision that will soon become a concrete reality throughout the EU, assuring that, regardless of where they live or how much they earn, every European benefits from high quality wireless connectivity”.

The resolution was approved by 582 votes to 98 against, with nine abstentions.

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