“With the aim that the residents of Los Montesinos can have access to the Internet and thus facilitate communication In times when the virtual community has become essential, the City Council has opted to promote the connectivity and facilitate Internet access ”, said Ana Belén Juárez, mayor of Local Development and Promotion of the municipality, who has valued“ very positively ”having achieved in 2019 a grant from the European Commission to get the infrastructure up and running WiFi4EU that has allowed to have free WiFi in the squares of the town.
“In this time of pandemic, The Internet has been an open window to the world for most people. Even administrations have had to reinvent ourselves and we have used social networks as a reliable means of communication with citizens because the face-to-face attention was restricted, so although we already knew it, this pandemic has shown that access to the Internet and training in New Technologies is essential for the population ”, commented Juárez, who said that they are working on a new training program so that the digital divide is not a problem for anyone.
“The Los Montesinos Town Hall performs periodically open training courses the population to teach how to use the new technologies. You have to get on the bandwagon of modernity and put an end to the prejudices that the fact of being a traditionally rural municipality leaves behind, ”said the mayor.
“These grants – in reference to the European subsidy – serve so that small municipalities like ours, with just 5,000 inhabitants, can provide a essential service to the population”Commented Juárez, who recalled that the Local Development area carried out the request within the first minute of opening of the call that took place on April 4, 2019. “Thanks to this work of application and processing and subsequent start-up, residents and visitors of Los Montesinos have access to high-quality Internet –at least 30 megabytes– through free WiFi access points in the public spaces of the municipality ”.
This European voucher was awarded in order of registration to 3,400 local authorities from all over Europe out of more than 10,000 applications after doing some previous procedures to have the option to participate and in Spain, 510 municipalities were selected.
Los Montesinos Mayor, José Manuel Butrón, stated that “we are very proud to be one of the European City Councils in being able to offer this service to citizens, who it has been operational for several months after we defined the project and did all the procedures to provide the service, including hiring the installation company of the wireless equipment and selecting the places from which it can be accessed. The Commission has already paid the installation company and now the City Council is responsible for financing the Internet subscription and the maintenance of the equipment to offer free and high-quality WiFi connection to residents and visitors for at least three years following the installation of the network ”.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.