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European negotiators have come to a consensus over how to deliver and fund the WiFi4EU initiative.

The project aims to deliver free public Wi-Fi hotspots in public spaces such as parks, piazzas, squares and hospitals across the European Union.

Officials at the European Parliament, Council and Commission have now reached an agreement over how it will be implemented and paid for.

This means €120 million will be assigned to fund equipment for public free Wi-Fi services in more than 6,000 municipalities in all member states.

As a result, residents of every European village and city could be able to enjoy free wireless internet access around the main centres of public life within the next three years.

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President in charge of the Digital Single Market, commented: "The WiFi4EU initiative will improve connectivity in particular where access to the internet is limited. 

"WiFi4EU is a welcome first step, but much more needs to be done to achieve high-speed connectivity across the whole EU territory."

For instance, he said Europe-wide coordination of spectrum could be better.

Furthermore, Mr Ansip stated that more should be done to stimulate investments in much-needed high-capacity networks across the continent.

Once the scheme is formally introduced, local authorities would be able to apply for funding via what is described as a "simple and non-bureaucratic process".

A grant would then be allocated in the form of vouchers, which can be used to purchase and install the latest technology, such as local wireless access points.

The authority that applied for the grant would then be responsible for covering the running costs of the connection itself.

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