WIFI4EU received more than 13,000 applications for the first phase. 256 are Portuguese – Telecommunications

WIFI4EU received more than 13,000 applications for the first phase. 256 are Portuguese - Telecommunications

Only in the first 10 seconds the project that wants to guarantee access to free internet in public spaces received 4 thousand applications. In all, there were 13 thousand registrations to access the vouchers of 15 thousand euros.

The applications for this first phase took place between 7 and 9 November, after the first call was canceled due to a leak of data from the municipalities. According to data provided by the WIFI4EU organization, the response of the municipalities was impressive and in total more than 13 thousand applications were received from all the countries of the European Union.

The model defined was a priority for the first to submit the application, in a "first come, first served" that has minimums for each country but that required the rapidity in online submission, which justifies this avalanche of registrations in the first seconds.

This first phase will deliver to the chosen municipalities more than 42 million euros for a total of 2,800 vouchers, with the winners being announced in December. The choice is made by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), responsible for implementing the project.

According to the data, all European countries, except for Iceland, have exceeded a minimum of 15 applications, most of them in the first few seconds of the opening of applications. By the rules will not be delivered more than 224 vouchers to each country at this stage.

Italy was the country with more applications, 3,202, followed by Spain with 2,116 and Germany with 1,824. Of 256 applications were submitted, but there are countries with fewer municipalities to participate.

In the next two years, three more phases of applications will be organized for WIFI4EU, and in total the European Commission will distribute 120 million euros to at least 8 thousand municipalities. The chosen cities will receive a 15,000 euro voucher from the European Union to set up free internet access stations in public places such as squares, gardens or libraries and hospitals.

The project was led by Portuguese MEP Carlos Zorrinho and was adopted in 2017 in the European Parliament.

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