With WiFi4EU in the main public sites, the region of Madeira has now committed to deliver high-speed connectivity, an expanded network coverage and new e-services to citizens and tourists. The capital city of Funchal, as well as the Municipality of Calheta - two of the biggest towns but not the only ones on the island of Madeira - have applied and won a WiFi4EU voucher.
Surrounded by scenic nature and tropical forests, Funchal is a city of 111.800 inhabitants: one of the largest cities of Portugal. An important port, it has significant historical value for Europe as it was the first city built by Europeans outside the continent during the 15th century. Today, because of its high cultural value, it is one of Portugal’s main touristic attractions, attracting digital nomads from all over the world.
WiFi4EU made it possible for visitors and inhabitants to enjoy free and fast connectivity in most public spaces of the city. “We applied for WiFi4EU once we found out the funding was available”, said the Former Mayor of Funchal, Miguel Silva Gouveia, mentioning that they “didn’t want to miss the opportunity of winning a voucher, as this was a “first come, first served” type of application”. The museum of sugar and the market of Funchal are the most visited attractions and now their visitors can enjoy the free WiFi4EU connectivity. “It helps us to have inclusive practices, to break down linguistic and cognitive barriers, which is fundamental in a modern and cosmopolitan city like Funchal”, continued the former Mayor of Funchal.
On the other side of the island is Calheta, a seaside town of 11.500 people with amazing views of the surrounding towering mountains and the vast ocean. The trending lifestyle of digital nomads has increased during recent years and Calheta has been an attractive destination for many. “WiFi4EU is important because connectivity nowadays is fundamental in our lives and it is a great advantage to have free internet in public zones, so that digital nomads can work and enjoy the landscapes at the same time”, says Dorothea Leҫa, member of the local city council.
171 Portuguese towns already enjoy the benefits of a WiFi4EU voucher and it has proved a great success in the country. Especially for the outermost regions of Europe, connectivity is a significant aspect that keeps them connected with the world. It promises a future full of potential and equal opportunities.