According to a new report, the European Commission has promised free Wi-Fi Internet access to every town, village, and city within the European Union, in the next four years. They’ve also set a tarted for all European households to have access to 100Mbps Internet speeds by 2025.
Thanks to a €120 million grant, public authorities will have the ability to purchase equipment needed to bring Wi-Fi to most major locations as well as smaller towns and villages. If approved by the European Parliament and ministers, this cash could be available as soon as the end of 2017.
As for personal Internet access, the Comission has also set a target for all European households to have access to 100Mbps speeds by 2025. The commission has also redefined Internet access as a “universal service”.
Finally, to further increase their Internet efforts, the commission also hopes to fully deploy 5G mobile speeds across the EU by 2025. Jean-Claude Juncker, the Comission president, also promised to abolish roaming charges in his “State of the European Union” address earlier this week.
To ensure this all goes ahead smoothly, the commission has proposed a new law, the European Electronic Communications Code, as well as an updated Regulation on the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC), which will help support local communities provide free public Wi-Fi access to their citizens, and a plan to roll-out 5G across the EU.
While this may all sound exciting, there are of course many doubts being cast as to whether the public would benefit. The EU have been working to abolish roaming fees for some time now, and has yet to properly deliver on that promise.
What’s more, thanks to the results of the EU Referendum earlier this year, there’s a chance these pledges may not apply to the UK as it may have quit the European Union before the end of the decade.