A computer breakdown delays European free Wi-Fi project

A computer bug forced the European Commission to cancel the call for applications, with a view to the installation of free Wi-Fi in European towns and villages. Le Soir is reporting the problem on Friday. Some 125 Walloon towns and villages had put in applications as part of the project.

The European Commission was planning to devote a financial envelop of some €120 million (€15,000 per town or village) to financing free Wi-Fi spots, an initiative dubbed “Wifi4EU”.

The call for applications had been due to close on June 15th, but an IT breakdown decided otherwise for the project. An e-mail received by the various towns and villages stated that, “A technical error has prevented candidates from participating on an equal footing.”

Le Soir states that the countdown to the launch of the call for applications was synchronised not to Brussels time, but in fact the local time for each candidate town or village’s computer used to make an application. The issue proved a major problem for the project, as the Commission had announced that distribution of the various financial envelopes would take place on a “first come, first served” basis.

The Brussels Times

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