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European lawmakers back €120M plan for free EU wi-fi

EUROPEAN LAWMAKERS BACK €120M PLAN FOR FREE EU WI-FI

European lawmakers on Tuesday approved a multi-million-euro scheme to set up free wi-fi access in public areas across the bloc.

Under the three-year plan, €120 million ($141 million) in EU grants will be given to local authorities to establish "free wireless connections in centers of public life, including outdoor spaces accessible to the general public: libraries, public administrations, hospitals".

Six thousand communities across the EU can benefit from the scheme on a "first-come, first-served" basis, the European Parliament said in a statement.

Portuguese Socialist MEP Carlos Zorrinho, who drafted lawmakers' response to the scheme, said the WIFI4EU Initiative was "a strong political vision that will soon become a concrete reality throughout the EU, assuring that, regardless of where they live or how much they earn, every European benefits from high quality wi-fi connectivity".

The resolution was approved by 582 votes to 98 against, with nine abstentions.

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