What is WiFi4EU, and how does it work?
WiFi4EU is an EU initiative that will provide vouchers to the value of €15 000 to cover the equipment and installation costs of Wi-Fi access points to thousands of municipalities throughout Europe. Beneficiaries select the 'centres of community life' where the WiFi4EU hotspots will be installed. The Wi-Fi hotspots can be installed in indoor or outdoor public spaces, where no similar offers of free Wi-Fi connectivity already exist. These can include town halls, health centres, public squares, pedestrian streets, and more.
It is a streamlined funding scheme that for the first time provides vouchers transferred by the municipalities to the Wi-Fi installation companies that will set up the hotspots.
Municipalities receiving a voucher are free to define and procure their local Wi-Fi installation projects in accordance with the applicable procurement rules. They may consult the list of registered Wi-Fi installation companies operating in their geographical area.
Registration on the portal
Once a municipality has successfully applied for a voucher, they have a period of 18 months to ensure the installation of the WiFi4EU hotspot. They will launch a procurement process for the selection of a Wi-Fi installation company. As a Wi-Fi installation company, you must register on the online portal in order to receive remuneration to the value of the voucher from the European Commission.
How to Register as a Wi-Fi Installation Company
Wi-Fi installation companies can register on the WiFi4EU portal through a dedicated section. You will be asked to provide the following details:
- information about the company
- information on the geographical area (countries or areas within your country) where your company operates
- information on a contact person.
Registration on the WiFi4EU portal by Wi-Fi Installation companies is essential for the redemption of the vouchers.
The technical requirements for the WiFi4EU networks are laid out in the Frequently Asked Question 27 and further specified in the call conditions and model grant agreement. These requirements detail the minimum number of indoor and outdoor access points, as well as the technical capabilities of each of these access points. Please refer to point 6.2.2 of the call conditions for the full technical specification
The value of the €15 000 voucher will be paid directly to the installation companies by the European Commission within maximum 60 days. This payment will be executed by bank transfer, upon confirmation by the European Commission that the WiFi4EU hotspot is operational. It is exclusively via the portal that the installation company and the municipality concerned can notify that the Wi-Fi network is installed and operational. Once the Commission has verified this information, it will pay out the sum of the voucher directly to the installation company. The municipality will settle any balance above the value of the voucher due to the Wi-Fi installation company.