On Friday 17th September, 20121, Minister for Rural & Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, officially launched the WiFi4EU network in Ballybofey at the Balor Theatre. The WiFi4EU network is a Pan European network of free Wi-Fi zones across Europe designed to increase connectivity in public spaces across the member states.
Funded by the EU Commission through a voucher scheme, and match funded by the Department of Rural & Community Development and Donegal County Council, this project has enabled the implementation of 75 Wi-Fi Access Points across 56 towns and villages in County Donegal. The Business and Community sector have welcomed and actively engaged with Donegal County Council in selecting and hosting premises on main streets, market squares and community centres across the County.
This is a unique Wi-Fi network as it will be a recognizable network across all member states of the EU. WiFi4EU will be the common SSID whether you’re doing business, on holidays or resident all across Europe. Free Wi-Fi will be of huge benefit to the tourism sector where visitors can engage on social media platforms about their holidays, find out local information, and book services etc.
Minister for Rural & Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD said in Ballybofey that “It’s great to have such a wide geographical spread of free WiFi4EU zones in a large county like Donegal. This is bringing more connectivity and accessibility to the public and visitors in every town and village; from Malin to Bundoran & Glencolmcille to Carrigans. The Department is very happy to have match funded this EU scheme as rural digital connectivity is a key element of Our Rural Future development policy 2021-2025.”
Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Councillor Jack Murray welcomes the launch of the WiFi4EU network in County Donegal. “This is another significant expansion to the high speed connectivity footprint in County Donegal and will be of tremendous benefit to our citizens and the many people who visit Donegal on holidays and for business purposes.”
Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, John G McLaughlin said “that free access Wi-Fi zones in public spaces in our towns and village will increase dwell time in those locations. This will give users time to explore the locality and the shops whilst they are connected. Increased dwell time leads to increased local spend so any technology that facilitates this is to be welcomed as part of town and village regeneration throughout the County. The County Council is delighted to help modernize the digital offering in our communities for both the local people and our visitors”
Head of Information Systems Brian Boyle also commented that “Donegal County Council has provided free Wi-Fi services in its public buildings since 2015 . The WiFi4EU programme has enabled the Council to extend the service to Towns and Villages throughout the County. Public high speed WiFi is a key component of the Donegal Digital initiative which aims to embrace digital technologies to the greatest extent possible for the benefit of citizens”
Further information and a map showing the distribution of WiFi4EU Access points in the County is available at https://arcg.is/1HD8qa