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The European Union has launched a voucher scheme to help boost access to free public Wi-Fi services across the continent.

Municipalities have been invited to register their interest in securing vouchers worth £13,000 to help fund the deployment.

However, subsequent maintenance costs would have to be covered by the areas that receive the vouchers.

This forms part of the Europe-wide WiFi4EU scheme - an effort to make free Wi-Fi available in every European village and city by 2020.

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission, commented: "By opening the WiFi4EU portal today, we are taking a concrete step towards helping municipalities provide free Wi-Fi."

He went on to stress that while this is an important step forward, the European Parliament and Council still need to conclude work on the proposed telecoms code to ensure high-speed connectivity across the whole of the EU.

This, he stated, includes Europe-wide coordination of spectrum and "forcefully stimulating" investments in the high-capacity networks that are needed across the continent.

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