A new scheme to bring high-speed WiFi connections to around 8,000 communities across Europe was backed by the European Parliament last week in Strasbourg.
The WiFi4EU initiative will support the installation of state-of-the-art equipment in centres of community life between 2017 and 2019.
This is part of the EU’s strategy to create a ‘gigabit society’ by improving internet connectivity in public spaces such as parks, squares, public buildings, libraries, health centres, and museums everywhere in Europe.
Labour MEPs for the North East of England, Paul Brannen and Jude Kirton-Darling, welcomed the initiative.
Paul Brannen MEP said: “WiFi4EU is an exciting opportunity that will certainly help transform Europe into the gigabit society it aspires to be.
“This initiative is set to improve the way thousands of communities across Europe communicate and we look forward to see which public spaces in the North East will benefit from free internet connection.”
Jude Kirton-Darling MEP added: “This is a great digital development across Europe that will make it easier for everyone to stay connected, as well as accessing information and services online whenever they need to.
“Cities in the North East, such as Newcastle, Gateshead and Middlesbrough, proudly led the way in equipping public spaces with free WiFi in 2015, an initiative which proved to be a success. We look forward to see it rolled out across Europe.”