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WiFi4EU stories: an interview with Mayor of Villány, Hungary

Known as one of Hungary’s capitals of wine, Villány is a municipality located in the southernmost region of the country and it gives name to the renowned red wine. Underneath its sun-kissed vineyards lies Villány’s knack for digital tourism and commitment to becoming a Smart City. The WiFi4EU team spoke with Mayor István Mayer and Deputy Gabriella Bojcsev to discover more about how WiFi4EU fits in the digital plan of the town.

Photo of fields in Villány

European Commission

WiFi4EU Stories Villány

Photo caption: Mayor of Villány István Mayer in front of the wine cellars of the town

During the four WiFi4EU calls for applications, 325 Hungarian local authorities have been granted a EUR 15,000 voucher, taking significant steps towards the digital goals set out by the national strategy. In 2015, Hungary launched the Digital Success Programme, a plan for digital transformation with a special focus on smart cities. Thanks to WiFi4EU, municipalities are able to kick-start the process of becoming smart communities. As explained by Mayor Mayer, “With WiFi4EU, we had the opportunity to improve the town’s digital infrastructure, allowing everyone to use our e-services. We laid the ground to start planning smart city projects. These improvements will allow not only the access of free public Wi-Fi, but also the development of e-services and application in the future.”

In Villány, the network funded by the WiFi4EU voucher was launched in November 2020 with the goal of providing as much coverage as possible. According to Mayor Mayer, “the 10 outdoor public hotspots have been installed in the most popular part of town: along the main street, from the historic wine cellars to the event square”. The areas covered by WiFi4EU will allow both locals and tourists to enjoy free connectivity and take advantage of the services developed by the municipality. For Villány’s Local Council, the goal was to develop a network able to satisfy the needs of residents while also creating added value for the increasing number of visitors.

Sub-Mediterranean climate, bold red wines, and picturesque landscapes: the Villány wine region has a lot to offer to tourists who, thanks to the WiFi4EU initiative, will now be able to share photos and incredible memories with family and friends. “The WiFi4EU network installed in the town was an important digital development. Villány is a very popular touristic destination in Hungary and we are sure that WiFi4EU constitutes an important element in the improvement of our digital infrastructure”, concluded Mayor Mayer.