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Nicosia receives EU funds to expand free WiFi

Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis being handed the voucher by the European Commission's Pierpaolo Tona

Nicosia municipality on Friday received a voucher for €15,000 for the installation of a WiFi network from the European Commission.

Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis was handed the voucher by Pierpaolo Tona, project management coordinator of the European Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (Inea).

The money is part of the Wifi for Europe (WiFi4EU) project, an initiative promoting the development of a free wireless broadband infrastructure in public hotspots, including libraries, museums, public parks and squares. It is meant to cover the cost of equipment and installation.

The municipality of Nicosia was selected, along with 32 other local authorities from Cyprus, out of a total of 10,000 applications who submitted at a pan-European level and has signed a contract with Inea.

“The installation of the network is part of the actions planned and implemented by the municipality and relates to the integrated sustainable development strategy, which includes the establishment of the Rise Centre for Excellence in Research and Technology and the implementation of the smart city project,” the municipality announced.

In March 2018 the European Commission launched its WiFi4EU web portal to which municipalities all over Europe were invited to register for the chance to benefit from EU financing to build free public wireless internet hotspots.

Some €120 million is available from the EU budget until 2020 to fund equipment for public free WiFi services in up to 8,000 municipalities in all member states as well as Norway and Iceland. Each participating country received at least 15 vouchers.

At the time, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the WiFi4EU initiative aims at connecting “every European village and every city with free wireless internet access around the main centres of public life by 2020”.

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