Free public wi-fi is being rolled out around the county.

Calls for more public wi-fi

A county councillor has asked for an update on the rollout of an EU initiative promoting free access to wi-fi in public spaces around Cork.

Fine Gael Cllr John Paul O’Shea asked the council for any news on the WiFi4EU initiative which promotes free access to wi-fi connectivity for citizens in public spaces including parks, squares, public buildings, libraries, health centres and museums. Under the scheme, the council was awarded four vouchers worth €15,000 of EU funding each with an additional commitment from the Irish Government to match that funding.

Cllr O’Shea said: “I know this money was allocated in October 2019. I'm conscious that the time frame is running out in having these initiatives rolled out in each of the towns. We all know how important wi-fi is in our towns and villages, particularly in our tourist locations.”

He welcomed the selection of Bantry, Cobh, Midleton, Mitchelstown, Fermoy, Camden Fort Meagher, Charleville and Bandon for the scheme and said he hopes they are the first of many locations to benefit from it.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Frank O’Flynn, who represents Fermoy municipal district, added: “In any town you travel to throughout Europe, wi-fi is freely available. It's very important wi-fi should be in all our county council properties and in all our towns and villages.”

Cork County Council’s Director of Services, Environment, Louis Duffy said the council is scoping a project to ensure full utilisation of the available funding across the entire county. She said: “Surveys have been undertaken in Bantry, Cobh, Midleton, Mitchelstown, Fermoy, Camden-Fort Meagher, Charleville and Bandon to assess opportunities at these locations for deployment of wi-fi access points.

“Additional survey requirements will be determined on an ongoing basis. It’s a condition for the drawdown of funding that all infrastructure is operational, and other rules of the initiative are fully observed by August 2022.”