The demand for the free Wi-fi connectivity service, which was first introduced in Galway city in October 2020, has grown exponentially over the last two years, with a 30% increase in users nationwide in the last year alone and a total of 8,369 users recorded for the month October 2022.
The WiFi4U scheme offers free high-speed access to Wi-Fi connectivity for citizens in public spaces such as parks, squares, public buildings, libraries, museums and in towns and cities throughout Europe. It is an initiative of The European Commission funded by both The European Commission and Department of Rural and Community Development.
The areas with the Wi-Fi access points include:
— 47 Access Points installed across 17 different towns including Fingal, Blanchardstown, Mulhuddart, Lucan, Castleknock, Portmarnock, Howth, Malahide, Portrane, Donabate, Swords, Balbriggan, Naul, Garristown, Rush, Lusk and Skerries.
— There were 6,146 users in Fingal alone across September and October this year which is an increase of 15% compared to this time last year.
— 52 Access Points installed across 6 different towns including Clonmel, Carrick on Suir, Nenagh, Tipperary Town, Roscrea & Thurles.
— There were 3,030 users in Tipperary County across September and October this year which is an increase of 66% compared to this time in 2021.
— 61 Access Points installed across 13 different towns including Ballinfoile, Galway City Centre, Roscam, Ballyloughnane, Liosban, Doughiska, Mervue, Knocknacarra, Blackrock, Salthill, Westside, Tuam Road & Renmore
— There were 5,358 users in Galway City across September and October this year which is an increase of 88% compared to this time last year.
— 41 Access Points installed across 25 Different towns including Kinvara, Portumna, Killimor, Loughrea, Gort, Mountbellew, Ballygar, Ahascragh, Aughrim, Ballinasloe, Moylough, Headford, Dunmore, Tuam, Athenry, Oranmore, Barna, Oughterard, Carraroe, Spiddal, Moycullen, Aran Islands & Clifden.
— There were 3,991 users in Galway County across September and October this year which is an increase of 239% compared to the same time last year.
Under the WiFi4EU scheme, successful local authorities are issued with vouchers worth €15,000 to install Wi-Fi hotspots, which must be free of charge to the user, free from advertising and with no commercial re-use of data.
To date 28 of Ireland’s 31 local authorities have now secured WiFi4EU vouchers, with 23 securing the maximum of four available and 12 still to go to tender.
The Department of Rural and Community Development is providing matched funding of €15,000 for every voucher awarded to Ireland by the EU, effectively doubling the value of the investment.
Commenting on this landmark milestone, Philip Clapperton, Sales Director at Magnet +, says: “Magnet+ is delighted to have brought connectivity services to so many towns across Ireland. The multi-location WiFi4EU service will provide previously unavailable Wi-Fi service in these community locations, which will enhance the user experience when visiting these locations.
Areas previously affected by a lack of Wi-Fi services can now access reliable, fast and secure internet services at no cost providing incredible ease of access for these areas and boosting all the local economies in these areas. We’re excited to grow these networks further to even more areas in the country.”