WiFi4EU: Techno-economic analysis of a key European Commission initiative for public connectivity Articles uri icon


  • Navio Marco, Julio

publication date

  • July 2019

start page

  • 520

end page

  • 530


  • 6


  • 43

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0308-5961

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-3258


  • This paper analyses the WiFi4EU initiative, the measure proposed by the European Commission (EC) to speed up public access to Wi-Fi throughout Europe in the coming years by subsidising the infrastructure. We set out to analyse how these measures are incorporated into the EU policies for building a Gigabit Society and the EC's regulatory tradition, and what the impact is likely to be. This innovative initiative has been drawn up in a climate of uncertainties and delays, and will have an effect upon the network deployments strategies of operators and countries. The article puts all of this into the context of the current European regulation debate and conducts a techno-economic analysis to assess the expected impact of the initiative. We have observed a slight shift towards developmental models in the EC regulatory framework and a step ahead towards multi-level governance. Furthermore, the techno-economic analysis has revealed the limited extent of Community aid and the considerable variability of the equipment deployed and the expenditure involved. We have also highlighted the questionable formulation of the allocation mechanisms, and we have included certain examples or suggestions for improvement.


  • wifi4eu; network deployment; ec regulation; gigabit society; multilevel governance; policy evaluation