back to article Europe to splash €120m on free WiFi for ~8,000 villages and cities

The European Parliament, Council and Commission have all decided that the in-El Reg's-view-inexplicable WiFi4EU project is a fine idea worthy of €120m to ensure “every European village and every city with free wireless internet ac­cess around the main centres of public life by 2020." The agreement between the Parliament, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice.

    Torrenting while playing petanque is real.

    1. Ragarath

      Re: Nice.

      Try doing that while everyone else is doing the same thing in the city / town centre. It's not cheap to run a big fat pipe.

  2. Warm Braw

    Backhaul?

    It does seem odd to offer subsidies for last-metre connectivity when the more pressing need in many places is actually to have some sort of Internet service to back it up.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Backhaul?

      Backhaul for a municipal network shouldn't be a problem and any decent rollout will include throttling and limit the ports available. Though anything that doesn't allow SSH should be avoided.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Backhaul?

        @Charlie Clark

        Backhaul out in the countryside in countries like France is a big problem.

        My village (Pop 850) is just over 5km from a telephone exchange and linked to that exchange with copper of dubious age that is reasonable most of the time (1.5 M ADSL) but can be rather problematic when it rains.

        Now, if they connected us to the fibre trunk that is 2km away and provided fibre cabinet it would be a very different story.

  3. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Can the UK grab some of the lolly before we leave the EU?

    1. James 51

      With austerity, I can't see that happening. Running costs aren't included and the subsidies won't last the life time of a parliament (assuming that the next one lasts five years like it is suppose to) which would mean diverting money from NHS tax cuts for ordinary, hard working multinationals.

    2. daldred

      Of course not. Everyone knows that we never benefit from anything the EU does. Or at least 51.9% of the voters know that. Don't upset them with the idea that EU membership could actually do them some good.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's our money they are using

        After brexit we can decide whether to spaff such money down our own drains or not. At the moment we have to pay a lot for membership of this dubious club.

        1. James 51

          Re: It's our money they are using

          All those nefarous clean air laws:

          http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:l28026

          and clean water laws:

          http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/water-framework/info/intro_en.htm

          and product safety laws:

          http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/consumers_safety/product_safety_legislation/general_product_safety_directive/index_en.htm

          Just think of all the freedom and control we'll have in just a few years.

          1. Fading
            Holmes

            Re: It's our money they are using

            [cough]

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Air_Act_1956

            http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukla/1995/1/contents/enacted (British waterways act 1995)

            https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/kitemark/product-testing/ (Kite mark since 1903)

            1. James 51

              Re: It's our money they are using

              @Fading If the UK goverment sets targets and misses them without an oversight body then there isn't a great incentive for them to improve.

              1. Fading

                Re: It's our money they are using

                It is not for supranational governments to provide oversight over national bodies for the good of the people but for the people to force their national bodies to do good by them. That is democracy.

                1. James 51

                  Re: It's our money they are using

                  The tories got about 37% of the vote in the last election but have 100% of the power. They can effectively ignore the needs of 60% of the population and still hold on to power. That's democracy.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: It's our money they are using

                    The Leave campaign got the votes of about 37% of the electorate in the referendum but have 100% of the power. They are not even talking (sensibly) to the other 63% of the population and still hold on to power. Both main party leaders were elected to Parliament on 'remain' manifestos, and both represent constituencies that voted Remain. Neither can be trusted to do the most basic part of the job of an MP and represent their own constituents, yet they are both vying to ruin the country?

                    That's democracy?

          2. tedleaf

            Re: It's our money they are using

            Oh,just like all the legislation that we had in the past before we joined the e.u.

            The only difference being now firms just ignore e.u legislation instead if UK legislation..

            Laws etc mean nothing if not enforced..

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's our money they are using

          "After brexit we can decide whether to spaff such money down our own drains or not. At the moment we have to pay a lot for membership of this dubious club."

          We don't know that yet. We don't know how much we will continue to pay for any benefits we still want or need. What is certain is that we will have no influence over how that money is used.

        3. strum

          Re: It's our money they are using

          >After brexit we can decide

          With a very broad definition of "we". You and I will have no say in the matter. We won't even have a proportionally-representative body to act in our interests.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It's our money they are using

            Well I voted for PR at the LibDem sponsored referendum .... And I was hoping Scotland would vote out (as they are a separate country in all but law) ... Still one out of three went the way I wanted.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It's our money they are using

            48% of "we" are to be ignored at all costs, as well. The Daily Mail has spoken. Anyone who dares say otherwise is an Enemy of the People.

        4. GruntyMcPugh

          Re: It's our money they are using

          "After brexit we can decide"

          After brexit you'll get told what to do by whichever party is in power, perhaps without recourse to the ECHR if May gets elected. But it'll be great, what with the £350M the NHS is going to get each week!

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Can the UK grab some of the lolly before we leave the EU?

      Well given local authorities can apply directly, I can see the more hard-nosed and switched on applying.

      If on the other hand it was up to the government then I suggest this would be another late/failed application - the 2015~2017 government had to be forced to apply for the flood relief monies that it was entitled to, although I'm not sure if they actually managed to get their application to the EU before the deadline...

      In fact with some imagination, the location requirement "the main centres of public life by 2020" could be extended to include: hospital waiting rooms, job centre's ...

  4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Public wifi should come with a health warning

    German TV news trumpeted this last night with the obligatory chart highlighting how little public wifi there is. As expected it skirted the security risks both to operators and users of public wifi if they're not done safely and securely. Most public wifis now are little more than honeypots and should not be used without a VPN. The convenience of not having to login is tempered by the risk of exposing your device to a potentially malicious network.

  5. Velv
    Trollface

    All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order and free mobile phone roaming and free wifi... what have the Romans done for us?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds reasonable

    Whats the angle with the story? There is always an angle here.

    I guess on the upside, when we lose out post brexit free roaming, at least we will have free WiFi abroad (not that anyone except Arron banks will be able to afford to travel abroad)

  7. heyrick Silver badge

    Hmmm...

    My local village (pop 300ish and a magnitude more pigs) is soon getting fibre.

    As I'm out of the municipal boundary, I'll be stuck with 2mbit for the foreseeable future.

    Would it not be better to invest in getting everybody up to a useful base data rate?

  8. pgrant2

    How much kit is possible?

    I have literally zero knowledge of commercial grade wireless kit, is average €17k per install enough to flood the whole town centre with signal, or just specific buildings or locations?

    1. Synonymous Howard

      Re: How much kit is possible?

      It might pay for a few hours of an installation guy and his ladder I guess.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Migrants need free wifi too, to hook up with fellow jihadis to plot terror attacks. Of course this won't be abused. /s

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >Migrants need free wifi too

      Just get Facebook/Google to scatter a few wifi enabled buoys around the Mediterranean sea. The racketeers will ensure they are located in the 'best' places.

      1. James 51
        Joke

        Donald, welcome! No need to hide behind AC here. I am sure you have some contactors who can do the work for the best, just the best prices for us.

        1. billse10

          of course he will, but this is Donald: he'll get the best, best prices, then refuse to pay the contractors bigly anyway.

          1. TRT

            I'm sure they'll install mediterranean wide covefefe.

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