Speaking today, Leader of the Fianna Fáil Group on Dublin City Council, Mary Fitzpatrick emphasised the potential for Dublin under the European Mobile Wifi Plan as set out by ALDE President Guy Verhofstadt. Cllr Fitzpatrick stated that Ireland must fight to secure its full allocation of funding under the programme.
Following a briefing this week by Guy Verhofstadt,President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE) in the European Parliament, Cllr Fitzpatrick highlighted the need for Ireland to ensure that we receive allocated funds and that they are utilised effectively to enhance connectivity in Dublin as set out in the European Mobile Wifi Plan.
Cllr Fitzpatrick, Fianna Fáil’s candidate for Dublin in the European elections said “I met with Guy Verhofstadt, he discussed his priorities for an ambitious “Digital Fast Forward” that includes a European Mobile Wifi Plan to regain Europe’s Digital Competitiveness in a global marketplace. The European Mobile Wifi Plan states that the EU will make money available from the structural funds to roll out a “municipal wireless network” to turn entire cities into Wireless Access Zones with the ultimate goal of making wireless access to the internet a universal service. We need to ensure that Ireland wins it’s full allocation of funding to roll out this programme”.
Cllr Fitzpatrick stated “The way in which we do business has changed in the past 10 years, we need the infrastructure in place to allow people to work while on the move. The European Mobile Wifi Plan would deliver economical advantages, as it would provide the service as a utility to the community rather than to have individual households and businesses pay for the services individually and privately. Furthermore this service would lead to job creation and provide a tool to support innovation”.
The Connecting Europe Facility and European Mobile Wifi Plan form part of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth. This programme seeks to prioritise digital infrastructures via the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) initiative. It has a total budget of €1.14 billion, out of which €170 million is allocated to broadband activities, while €970 million is dedicated to Digital Service Infrastructure that delivers networked cross-border services for citizens, businesses and public administrations.