EU funds will establish 59 free WiFi hotspots in Ireland

The European Union will provide €885,000 for the establishment of a minimum 59 WiFi hotspots throughout Ireland, under its ‘WiFi4EU’ initiative.

The funding is divided up into vouchers worth €15,000 each, which will be distributed across 21 local authorities.

The total fund will also be matched by the Department of Rural and Community Development, which, according to Minister of State Sean Canney, will “help local authorities in developing an even more substantial network of free public WiFi hotspots”.

Irish local authorities had applied for a total of 105 vouchers, receiving just over half of them. 

Canney, who has responsibility for natural resources, community affairs and digital development within the department, added that: “This outcome shows how proactive local authorities in Ireland are in their determination to bring connectivity to their areas.”

He went on to say that those local authorities are “doing as much as they can to provide their communities with a much-needed service, and their efforts and engagement need to be applauded”.

The successful authorities will now have 18 months to select locations for the hotspots to be set up – locations that must be “centres of public life”.

The service will be free to use, with no online advertising or commercial re-use of data being involved.

The full list of successful local authorities, and the number of vouchers they’ve each been awarded, is as follows:

  • Carlow – 4;
  • Cavan – 4;
  • Clare – 2;
  • Cork City – 1;
  • Donegal – 4;
  • Dublin City – 4;
  • Fingal – 4;
  • Galway City – 4;
  • Galway County – 1;
  • Kerry – 4;
  • Kildare – 1;
  • Leitrim – 2;
  • Limerick City and County – 4;
  • Longford – 1;
  • Mayo – 4;
  • Meath – 1;
  • Offaly – 2;
  • Sligo – 1;
  • Tipperary – 4;
  • Waterford City and Council – 4;
  • Wicklow – 3.