Of the 256 Portuguese municipalities that applied to the European Commission's WiFi4EU initiative, about half (127 municipalities) obtained vouchers (list here https://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/dae/document.cfm?doc_id=55979) worth about 2 million euros.
At a European level, a total of 13 thousand municipalities applied, and 2,800 vouchers were awarded - worth 15 thousand euros each (i.e. 21.5% of applicants were awarded vouchers). Portugal had a higher level of success, with vouchers awarded to almost 50% of the municipalities that applied.
The first call for this initiative was held between 7 and 9 November. There will be a second call at the beginning of 2019, and municipalities that failed to obtain vouchers in the first round will be able to apply at that time.
The WiFi4EU initiative aims to provide high-quality Internet access to residents and local visitors in main centres of local community life, such as parks, squares, libraries or public buildings, contributing to:
- a reduction in digital exclusion, especially in rural and remote communities;
- increased access to online public services which improve quality of life in local communities.
European Union funding is intended to cover the equipment and installation costs of the Wi-Fi system.
To spread information about this initiative, ANACOM, in partnership with Associação Nacional de Municípios Portugueses (National Association of Portuguese Municipalities), held a series of clarification sessions involving local authorities.