Free Public Wi-Fi could soon be a reality across Europe, thanks to the EU Broadband Plan. The project will start in 2020 in the main centers of public life, and eventually expand to rural areas where internet access is patchy and communities do not have the funds to install Wi-Fi hotspots. While this is a long way off, it is a positive step towards a better Internet future.
Free public Wi-Fi
In a bid to step up the digital game, the European Union has proposed free Wi-Fi for public spaces across the continent. By 2020, the European Union wants to provide free public Wi-Fi in public areas in every country. In a speech in Strasbourg, EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker outlined his plans for the future of the digital economy, including plans to eliminate roaming fees and install 5G connectivity in every city.
In order to implement this ambitious plan, the EU has allocated EUR120 million (roughly $134 million) to provide free public Wi-Fi. The initiative is set to begin in 2020, beginning with main cities and public buildings. Over time, it will be extended to smaller towns and villages where Internet connectivity is patchy and communities do not have the money to install public Wi-Fi hotspots.
As part of its WiFi4EU initiative, the European Commission has set a budget of EUR120 million to provide free public Wi-Fi in public buildings and spaces in the EU. The money would go toward equipment and installation, but the public bodies would be responsible for the monthly subscription and maintenance costs. WiFi4EU is an innovative and progressive way to make public Wi-Fi access in public spaces. It has the potential to transform European cities.
The goal is to make Europe the most connected continent by 2030. “The EU is taking a big step in this direction,” says Mark Newman, chief analyst at ConnectivityX. “If we can do this, we could see free public Wi-Fi throughout Europe” in the near future, he adds. There are still some obstacles, though. In order to make the initiative a reality, national ministers and the European Parliament must approve the proposals.
Man-in-the-middle attack on public Wi-Fi
There are many risks associated with using public Wi-Fi networks, including the possibility of hackers accessing your personal information. These hackers can compromise your internet router, allowing them to intercept the information you send over the Internet. In addition to stealing personal information, they can also harm your reputation and finances. This attack can occur at any public Wi-Fi hotspot, including airports, coffee shops, and even public libraries.
The European Parliament recently shut down its public Wi-Fi because of a Man-In-The-Middle attack. The attack was detected when hackers posed as legitimate hotspots. In this way, they were able to steal information, including outgoing emails. In fact, the attack affected 14 MEPs and their parliamentary assistants. The hackers set up their operation near the EU Parliament in Strasbourg and were able to intercept both incoming and outgoing emails.
The man-in-the-middle attack is one of the most dangerous cyberattacks because it can compromise email accounts, social media accounts, and financial applications. It targets personal information, including bank account numbers and credit card numbers. The attackers often use this information to commit identity theft and illegal money transfers. Another method of attack involves intercepting the data being exchanged through public Wi-Fi networks.
Despite this new threat, the threat is nothing compared to the phishing attacks and other cybercrime activities that are conducted online. While many people do not take the precautions necessary to keep their internet activity secure, they are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. In this way, they are able to take advantage of others’ vulnerabilities and take over the network, as they wish.
Cost of mobile internet in the developing world
With a staggering 85% of the population in Africa living on less than $5 a day, the cost of mobile internet in the developing world could soon become a reality across Europe. The cost of mobile internet is significantly higher in the developing world compared to developed nations, with one gigabit of data costing as much as 40 percent of the average monthly wage in sub-Saharan Africa.
In developing countries, the cost of mobile internet per month can be astronomical compared to those in developed countries, but this has not stopped the growth of the web. Several factors are responsible for the rising cost of internet access, including the emergence of online gambling. Despite these risks, a majority of people still do not have a laptop or smartphone. While this is a global problem, there is an opportunity to reduce the cost of mobile internet.
A new initiative called Loon aims to provide 4G LTE services in remote regions with high-altitude air balloons. The plan is set to launch in 2020 with a partnership with Telkom Kenya, but the balloons will come down in February 2021. In the developing world, a lack of affordable mobile Internet service has prevented many rural populations from purchasing smartphones that support 4G services. But by lowering the cost of mobile internet in the developing world, this model may become a reality across Europe.
While mobile data costs in India are still far lower than in Europe, the low prices may not last long. As a result, the big operators are keen to attract new customers, and the low prices may not be sustainable for long. In the UK, smartphones and mobile internet services are becoming more affordable and ubiquitous, making comparisons between the developed and developing world difficult. This trend could lead to an increase in internet usage in Europe as well.
The rollout of WiFi4EU scheme in three European cities
The WiFi4EU scheme was launched in three European cities – Helsinki, Budapest, and Dublin. It aims to provide seamless Wi-Fi access for the local population while enabling them to access Eduroam with roaming. The scheme is a positive step for the country, setting a new benchmark in technological infrastructure. It is being implemented by Galgus, a provider of WiFi networks.
In addition to Helsinki, the rollout of WiFi4EU in these three European cities is underway in Covington, Kentucky. The network is intended to cover up to 80% of the city, so it is important that there are many free WiFi points. The internet-capable WiFi4EU hotspots should be placed in high-traffic areas. WiFi4EU will not require encryption, so users will not be concerned about their personal data being intercepted by a third party. Furthermore, WiFi4EU networks will have a common authentication platform in 2019, which will provide additional security measures and enable seamless roaming between WiFi4EU hotspots.
The WiFi4EU voucher is not intended to cover the cost of connecting devices to the Internet, but it can be used to partially finance the installation of WiFi access points. In most cases, municipalities will be responsible for the installation and maintenance of the access points. However, the municipality is responsible for the maintenance of the WiFi4EU equipment, and will not be responsible for the costs of backhaul. Ultimately, WiFi4EU will allow more people to have access to free WiFi and the European Commission will see the benefits.
The WiFi4EU scheme is aimed at encouraging public institutions to install free Wi-Fi connectivity in public places. In the Grand Cahors municipality, WiFi4EU was implemented to encourage free Internet access and improve e-services. In Ireland, Galway County aims to tap into the opportunities of technological change and remain a desirable place to live. Consequently, it is participating in the WiFi4EU scheme.
The application process for the scheme
The EU has announced a new initiative, the WiFi4EU scheme, which will provide free public WiFi in cities across the European Union. The scheme will be implemented on a first-come-first-served basis and will provide funding for up to 8,000 municipalities until 2020. In order to provide free internet for citizens, the WiFi4EU scheme requires networks to be free of advertising and personal data harvesting. The funding will be allocated to cities that develop free public WiFi networks of high quality.
The initiative will provide funding for public authorities in the form of vouchers to install free internet access points throughout their cities. Successful applicants are expected to install these connections within 18 months of receiving their vouchers. Internet access will be available to anyone visiting the zones. The EU Commission has pledged EUR120 million to support the scheme. The vouchers can cover up to 100 percent of the costs of setting up and maintaining the internet access points.
The WiFi4EU initiative will also provide vouchers worth EUR15,000 to help municipalities create free wifi hotspots. To apply, interested parties should visit the WiFi4EU web portal and register. There will be the first call for projects in May, with 1,000 vouchers issued. The total budget of the WiFi4EU project is estimated to reach EUR120 million by 2020. While there are no concrete dates as of yet, the Commission is actively seeking the input of interested parties to help municipalities get the scheme running smoothly.
WiFi4EU has been approved by the European Parliament as a new initiative aimed at promoting free Wi-Fi connectivity in public places. This new initiative will allow more than six thousand communities in Europe to benefit from free Wi-Fi. Initially, funding for the scheme will be paid to public bodies that will install free Wi-Fi in public spaces. To be eligible, public bodies must cover the costs of running the infrastructure for three years.