Alcoy, Altea, Beniarbeig, Finestrat, Gata de Gorgos, Los Montesinos, Mutxamel, Onil, Orihuela, San Vicente del Raspeig and Villena will each receive an EU grant of 15,000 euros to finance the installation of free Wi-Fi in public spaces such as plazas, parks, museums, libraries and health centres
The European Commission announced on Wednesday the names of 3,400 European municipalities – 510 of them in Spain – which will each receive the aid. Of the 510 in Spain, at least a dozen are municipalities in the province of Alicante.
This support is part of the program ‘Wifi4EU’ (Wi-Fi for the EU, in English), with which the EU wants to support the installation of high-speed connections in between 6,000 and 8,000 municipalities throughout the EU block, from a total budget which is around 120 million euros for the period 2018-2020 .
The bid period for the grant was open for just two days – from April 4 to 5 – to which around 10,000 municipalities responded. According to Brussels 98% of municipalities submitted their request in the first minute after the opening in which the grants were distributed by order of registration.
Spain, along with Italy and France, are the countries where most municipalities will benefit from the free Wi-Fi grant.
In all three cases, 510 selected localities were chosen, that is, 15% each of the budget for this call, however Brussels has said that there will be another two further opportunities during the project, one of them before the end of this year.
The municipalities that receive the funds must ensure that the ‘Wi-Fi’ connection is available within 18 months of it being granted. During this time, the town councils will have to define their project and select the company that will be responsible for the installation.
It is also the responsibility of the municipalities to choose the Internet operator. The connection contract must last for at least three years, during which time the municipalities must pay maintenance costs.
The connection is to be of high quality, at least 30 Mbps. Brussels say that they will remotely monitor that this criterion is met.