Free WiFi throughout Italy, may 2021 be the decisive year?

Piazza Wi F i Italia is the project promoted by the Ministry of Economic Development born in 2019 whose purpose is to guarantee a free WiFi throughout Italy. The project involved Tim as the main partner, who is responsible for installing the hotspots, while the construction of the infrastructure was assigned to Infratel Italia. The creation of the new free wifi areas is made possible by the 45 million euro funding from the Ministry, which expands the availability of the initial 8 million.

In 2021 the idea is to advertise the project so as to extend the public network in a capillary manner . The past year has taught everyone how networked can make a difference and public investments are aimed precisely at reducing the technological gap. Currently the Italian municipalities that have joined the free WiFi initiative are more than 3200 but over time they will increase more and more. The link updates the list of countries participating in the initiative.

So let's see how to join the project and its details.

WiFi Italy app

The project revolves around the free WiFi Italia App available on the Android and iOS stores. Through the app it is not only possible to take advantage of the connectivity made available by the hotspots but also to request the adhesion of your municipality.

After downloading it, you must register by entering your data or using the SPID. At this point the connection

Through the WiFi Italia app you can request free wifi in your municipality
Credit: wifi.italia.it. The WiFi Italia app allows you to consult the map with all available hotspots.

But that is not all. With the App you can request free Hotspots for your Municipalities or federate existing public networks. For example, from March 2020 the service has been extended to healthcare facilities and hospitals. In this way it is planned to install 5000 free hotspots throughout Italy. The activity provides an order of priority first to the 138 municipalities affected by the 2016 earthquake, then to small municipalities with a population of less than 2,000 inhabitants and progressively to all other Italian municipalities.

Criticalities

However, the ambition to provide the whole of Italy with free WiFi is not without its critical issues. In fact, the installed public network must not only make up for infrastructural deficiencies but must be able to guarantee the use made of it. Over the years, the number of users and the amount of data sent has increased significantly. In Italy, for example, not all municipalities are covered by 4G (although 6G technology is already being worked on), just as not all municipalities are reached by ADSL / Fiber.

On the AGCOM website it is possible to view the situation regarding the connectivity of the whole of Italy both as regards fixed and mobile mobility. The central-southern regions are those most penalized by this connection gap.

4G coverage map on the national territory
Credit: Map AGCOM. 4G coverage map on the national territory
Credit: Map AGCOM. Map of FWA coverage on the national territory
Credit: Map AGCOM. Map of FWA coverage on the national territory

Guaranteeing a connection that may not be as fast as a 4G but still stable and suitable for normal use, now seems an urgent commitment. The hope is that new investments and awareness can accelerate this development more and more.

Connectivity in other EU states

This is the plan developed by Italy, but what is the situation regarding free WiFi in Europe? The European Union also financed his project called WiFi4EU . The initiative offers municipalities the opportunity to request a voucher to be used for the installation of Wi-Fi equipment in public spaces that are not already equipped with a free Wi-Fi hotspot.

The 2020 Worldwide broadband speed league , a British research project from Cable.co.uk highlights what connection photography is in Europe. It is an open source project with contributions from civil society organizations, educational institutions and private sector companies. Also on the project site it is possible to use an interactive map that shows the maximum connection speed, country by country. In Italy, the average download speed is 23.18 megabits per second, followed by Kosovo (20.30), Bosnia Herzegovina (15.66), Albania (12.36) and North Macedonia (11.48).

Interactive map available on the 2020 Worldwide broadband speed league website
Credit: cable.co.uk. Interactive map with connection speed levels.

The opposite countries, on the other hand, exceed our technology by different lengths: Spain reaches an average speed of 55.84 Mbps, France reaches 51, Germany at 42 and Austria also exceeds us (slightly) by touching 27 Mbps.

The article free WiFi throughout Italy, that 2021 is the decisive year? comes from Tech CuE .