Laois and other county councils have been given a funding boost in setting up free wi-fi hot spots in a variety public places.
Seán Kyne, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development has confirmed that his department will be co-funding local authorities who are successful recipients of vouchers under the EU’s Wifi4EU scheme.
The Wifi4EU scheme is an initiative of the European Commission which will provide funding to local authorities for the development of Wi-Fi hotspots in public places such as main streets, public parks, museums, libraries and other public areas.
A statement said it would provide free Wi-Fi access to local residents and visitors throughout the EU in the main centres of community life. It is part of the wider European initiative to support the development of wireless broadband and promote the advantages of enjoying a high-speed internet connection on the go.
“With co-funding of up to €15,000 from my Department, local authorities that are successful under the EU’s Wifi4EU scheme will now be able to receive up to €30,000 per project to invest in providing free Wi-Fi in public areas”.
“The first phase of the Wifi4EU scheme launched today with a number of local authorities, joining their counterparts across Europe, in applying to the scheme. This first call by the EU will see 1,000 vouchers issued with Ireland set to receive at least 15 vouchers under the first call”.
“Each local authority that successfully receives a Wifi4EU voucher will automatically be guaranteed a matching payment of up to €15,000 from my department subject to a maximum of four vouchers per local authority area.”
“My department – the Department of Rural and Community Development – is co-funding this initiative as part of a range of measures to support the implementation of local digital strategies. The Wifi4EU scheme will provide free Wi-Fi hotspots at locations around the country which will benefit local people and visitors alike,” he said.