In the current funding period of the European Union (2013 – 2020), communities throughout the EU have a last chance to apply for a voucher to finance WLAN networks.
The fourth call starts on 03 June 2020 at 13:00 CET and ends on 04 June 2020 at 17:00 CET.
A relatively small budget of 14.2 million euros is available for the upcoming call. This means that, with a voucher value of 15,000 euros, 947 vouchers can be awarded throughout the EU. The main criterion for approval is the order in which the applications arrive at the Executive Agency for Innovation and Networks (INEA). However, a geographical balance will be strived for.
In order to apply for a voucher, the municipalities must be registered on the WIFi4EU portal before the call. The voucher will enable the succeeding communities to set up free Wi-Fi networks in public areas.
The demand for the vouchers is high: 2,800 vouchers were awarded in the first WiFi4EU call, which took place in November 2018, and for which more than 13,000 communities in all EU Member States, Norway and Iceland applied. In the second call in April 2019, more than 10,000 applications were submitted for the available 3,400 vouchers. In the third call in September 2019, all 1,780 vouchers were distributed within the first two seconds after opening the call.
Extension of the implementation period
The coronavirus crisis is affecting local and regional authorities across Europe. Therefore, the Executive Agency for Innovation and Networks (INEA), in agreement with the European Commission, has decided to support the implementation. For all winners of the three calls so far, the European Commission has extended the 18-month deadline for installing the Wi-Fi networks into operation by eight months. INEA and the European Commission expect this measure to help to complete the promoted and planned WiFi4EU networks, which will benefit local communities and citizens across Europe.
According to the EU Commission, the programme will be continued in the next funding period (2021 – 2027). Further information on timing and conditions will be announced by the Commission next year.
Further information can be found here: