The European Commission, Parliament and Council (representing member states) agreed on Monday to a €120-million plan to install free wi-fi services in 6,000 to 8,000 municipalities across the EU by 2020. The scheme had been proposed by EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker last September. How the system will be funded will have to be discussed and agreed before local authorities can start applying to it.
How kind. I guess a lot of people will be happy. But there might be unintended and unwanted consequences.
First of all, there is no such thing as a free lunch. In the end, this is €129M that somehow, forcefully will be taken from taxpayers.
Second, there must be much merriment within various mass surveillance organizations. This will make controlling the people that much easier.
And if you read the parliaments statement, there is mention of a »single authentication system valid throughout the EU«. This will have huge privacy implications. Can we please have a discussion about this first?
Third, it usually doesn’t end well when politicians start to meddle with what is supposed to be a free market. Is this at all fair competition? What will the consequences be when it comes to developing better and quicker commercial connections?
Finally, communal WiFi run by your local bureaucracy. What can possibly go wrong? Will it even work? How will surplus metadata that you generate be used? By whom? Wich web pages will be blocked?