The European Parliament has recently kicked off the EU program called “WiFi4EU”, to finance the installation of a series of completely free internet connections without “discriminatory limitations” in public centers – including outdoor spaces of common accessibility – such as hospitals, schools, public administrations, libraries, etc..

This plan intends to use the funds in a geographically balanced way – depending on the geographical context – giving priority to those who will apply first, with the intention of satisfying at least 6,000 communities within the member states.

Obviously the user entities will have to respect some agreements, among which guarantee the coverage of the operating costs of the network for a minimum of three years – without resorting to advertising or use of data for commercial purposes – and offer users absolutely free, safe and easy access connection. Institutions located in areas where similar free public or private offerings are already in place will not be eligible for funding.

“The WiFi4Eu initiative,” says Carlos Zorrinho (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament), “was a strong political vision that will soon become a concrete reality across the EU and will ensure that no matter where they live or how much they earn, every European benefits from a high-quality Wi-Fi connection. This will improve Europe’s gigabit society, making it economically competitive and socially inclusive.”

The initiative – approved with 582 votes in favor, 98 against and 9 abstentions – is “tuned” with the measure concerning the abatement of roaming deliberated in Brussels on June 15, which allows European telephone users to move between member states using the telephone traffic provided by their operator, without additional costs.

Marcello Argenti