The European Commission aims to provide free Wi-Fi and 5G for all EU members by 2025
The European Commission has announced plans to bring free Wi-Fi and 5G data connections to all EU members by 2025.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker announced the new initiative during his annual State of the Union address in which he spoke of the EC's three key objectives that were to be met by 2025.
- All households (rural and urban) to have access to download speeds of 100Mbps, which can be upgraded to 1Gbps.
- All urban areas, major roads and railways to receive uninterrupted 5G coverage. With 5G connections to be available in one major city in each EU member by 2020.
- Schools, universities, research centres, transport hubs, hospitals and all providers of public services, should have access to 1Gbps connection.
It was also announced that a new European Commissins Code will be proposed alongside the key objectives. The EC needs to raise €500 billion in order to carry out the key objectives. These funds are though to primarilly come from the private sector.
The EC believes that the new Communications Code has the potential to generate 1.3 million new jobs across Europe and could boost GDP by up to €910 billion (£776 billion) by 2025.
Digital Economy and Society commissioner Günther H. Oettinger has commented, "Connectivity is a key prerequisite for Europe’s digital future: The internet of things, digitisation of industry, cloud, big data – all this demands secure and ubiquitous connectivity, with the best speed and quality."
"Europe has the ambition to lead on the deployment of 5G. It is time to move to a gigabit society and make sure all Europeans, whether in the countryside or in cities, can get access to a quality internet connection."