HomeInsightsEuropean Parliament and Council agree deal on EU scheme for free internet access

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A scheme known as “WiFi4EU” for more than 5000 wireless internet connections in public areas across the EU has been agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators.

The informal deal includes:

  • the creation of a single authentication system valid throughout the EU;
  • funds to be deployed in a “geographically balanced manner” across Member States and on a “first come, first served” basis;
  • public wireless access points (libraries, public administrations, hospitals) to be funded only if users are allowed to connect without any direct or indirect payment (commercial advertising or use of personal data for commercial purposes);
  • public bodies should cover operating costs for at least three years and offer a free, easy to access and secure connectivity to users to be eligible; and
  • projects duplicating similar free private or public offers in the same area to be excluded from this financial support.

The draft deal needs to be approved by Parliament and the Council before any legislation can enter into force. To read the European Parliament’s press release in full, click here.