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Parliamentary questions
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19 June 2018
E-003338-18
Question for written answer E-003338-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ignazio Corrao (EFDD) , Laura Agea (EFDD) , Marco Valli (EFDD) , Piernicola Pedicini (EFDD) , Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD) , Laura Ferrara (EFDD) , Isabella Adinolfi (EFDD) , Daniela Aiuto (EFDD) , Eleonora Evi (EFDD) , Tiziana Beghin (EFDD) , Marco Zullo (EFDD)

 Subject:  Revision of the Wifi4EU call for applications with respect to submission procedures following its cancellation
 Answer in writing 

The ‘Wifi4EU’ call for applications was cancelled due to alleged technical problems and will be reopened in the autumn. The European Commission has already estimated that the total resources of EUR 120 million allocated for the 2017-2019 period will be sufficient to fund projects to build free Wi-Fi networks in EU municipalities for up to 6 000 to 8 000 municipalities(1).

Given that more than 18 000 local authorities registered for the first call for applications and that 5 000 applications were received in the first few seconds alone, it is likely that a few thousandths of a second will make the difference between whether or not a municipality will be among the beneficiaries of the next call for applications.

The call for applications would therefore favour precisely those areas with the best digital infrastructure, paradoxically exacerbating the situation of the most disadvantaged areas, such as rural areas(2), and increasing the digital divide.

Given that, to date, more than 10 000 municipalities that have already registered will not have access to funding, and given that it is quite clear that the ‘chronological order’ method used, based on the speed of the ‘click’ and not on the actual needs of the area, is inappropriate and discriminatory, can the Commission say:
1. Whether it intends to increase the resources available;
2. Whether it considers it appropriate to review its approach(3) to the way applications are submitted, bypassing the current discriminatory method for digitally less-developed areas?

Supporters(4)

(1)https://wifi4eu.eu/
(2)2017 report on the progress of the digital sector in Europe and country reports — Connectivity (includes FTTP, VDSL and DOCSIS 3.0 by cable) — https://enrd.ec.europa.eu/sites/enrd/files/publi-enrd-rr-24-2017-en.pdf
(3)Report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EU) No 1316/2013 and (EU) No 283/2014 on the promotion of Internet connectivity in local communities
(4)In addition to the authors, this question is also supported by: Dario Tamburrano (EFDD), Rosa D’Amato (EFDD).

Original language of question: IT 
Last updated: 5 July 2018Legal notice