More than half of Bulgarian municipalities will receive vouchers for free internet in public places in the European Union (EU). This was announced by the Bulgarian commissioner for digital technologies Mariya Gabriel.
According to her, the Bulgarian municipalities rank among the top EU winners in the WIFI4EU initiative.
A total of 209 Bulgarian municipalities have applied for the EU initiative. Of these, 113 are approved for funding, which is 54% success rate.
These municipalities will be able to use their 15,000-euro vouchers for 18 months to build wireless internet in public spaces such as halls, libraries, museums, parks, squares and other places of public interest.
A total of 2800 municipalities in the European Union will receive vouchers for free internet in public places.
“Improving connectivity in the EU is a key aspect of our digital single market strategy WIFI4EU is another concrete step in making the strategy a reality for everyone Now many more Europeans will enjoy free internet, enjoy better communications and new connectivity, which will ultimately contribute to the development of the EU economy, “said Gabriel Gabriel.
According to her, 2800 municipalities have geographically covered all the countries and regions of the European Union – from the largest and the most developed to the smallest and the poor. The aim is not only to have a connection between individuals but also a cultural and historical exchange of information.
All registered municipalities will become part of the WIFI4EU community and will be able to contact the other project participants.
“Our goal is to better protect citizens and businesses across Europe and enjoy access to pocket-side communication services, including access to internet services such as eGovernment, eHealth, online banking, video calling and many other options “Gabriel said.
There is an agreement to be signed with the winning municipalities and then they will be able to install the free internet network and redeem their voucher.
The total amount of free internet access for local authorities is € 120 million. More than 8,000 municipalities are expected to benefit from the scheme.
By 2020, there will be three more calls for municipalities to apply for. The next call will be open in early January 2019.