36 Bulgarian municipalities can apply for free internet

Thirty-six Bulgarian municipalities that have not yet participated in the WiFi4EU initiative for free wireless internet in public places can apply for a new competition. It will be open from June 3, 2020, 14:00 (Bulgarian time) to 18:00 on June 4, 2020. Before that, local authorities must have pre-registration on the WiFi4EU portal.

With a budget of € 14.2 million, the European Commission will distribute 947 vouchers on a first-come, first-served basis, respecting the geographical balance.

The fourth and final competition was scheduled for March, but was postponed due to the complicated situation surrounding the distribution of Covid-19.

Eighty-six percent of Bulgarian municipalities have already received their vouchers from the three competitions held so far. A total of 3,435,000 euros has been raised for the country to build high-speed wireless connections in public places. Bulgaria ranks first in the EU in the number of municipalities covered by the WiFi4EU initiative.

The European Commission has extended for another 8 months the deadlines for installing the equipment from the first three competitions of the WiFi4EU initiative, in order to enable the municipalities affected by the spread of Covid-19 to complete their projects.

According to the European Commission, 18% of the installations of access points made so far in the municipalities of the European Union are in hospitals and 37.5% in schools. In the emergency situation surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, WiFi4EU projects have significantly helped small townspeople have access to reliable administrative and business services.