Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Union’s executive body, yesterday announced in his annual state of the union address that the EU plans free wifi in all public spaces in member countries within 4 years.
Juncker was adamant about his future vision as he labelled our digital age as “permeating every aspect of life.” and has pledged €120M to help fund the initiative.
This money will be used to install all the equipment needed however it will be down to member states and local authorities to fund the maintenance, subscription fees and all other associated running costs.
“Everyone benefiting from connectivity means that it should not matter where you live or how much you earn,” Mr. Juncker said.
“So, we propose today to equip every European village and every city with free wireless internet access around the main centres of public life by 2020.”
There is naturally some scepticism to Mr.Juncker’s claim considering the EU’s recent climb down on “free roaming in the EU” which many people believe to be as a result of pressure from mobile phone operators looking to preserve their profit margins on roaming charges.
There are of course many cities across Europe where free wifi is already in place and available .
Juncker also admitted he would be looking to have at least one city in every member country to have deployed a 5G mobile network by 2020.
With Britain’s impending departure from the EU it is unlikely this directive will have any long term impact in the UK following Brexit.
For more information about EU plans free wifi in all public spaces visit EU press release
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