Four new Wifi hotspots are to be funded for Carlow under the WIFI4EU initiative, according to Sean Kelly M.E.P.
Each location will receive a grant of €15,000 from the E.U. while matching funding of €15,000 will also be provided by the Dept. of Rural and Community Development.
Each successful local authority now has 18 months to select locations for the WiFi4EU hotspots and complete their installation to be ready for public use.
These locations need to be ‘centres of public life’ where no other free WiFi service is already available. The WiFi4EU service will be free of charge, free of advertising and free from commercial re-use of data.
The provision of free public WiFi supports the goal of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce of improving broadband access in rural communities.
The initiative supports the commitment in the Action Plan for Rural Development to include the use of digital technologies for enhancing tourist experience;
In addition to stimulating demand in high-speed broadband connectivity and encouraging widespread take-up at community level, the intervention will also have several positive knock-on effects ranging from enhanced access to e-government and participation in democratic life, including for demographic groups otherwise facing difficulty in accessing connectivity, to additional infrastructure for emergency and crisis communications and public service announcements.
Sean Kelly M.E.P. is welcoming this development. He says that Irish local authorities were quick off the mark when the scheme opened for applications on November 7, resulting in an impressive 59 locations approved across the country.
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