IR Soluciones brings public Wi-Fi to the remotest parts of Spain under the European Union WiFi4EU initiative.

In the midst of the easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, some small towns are getting Wi-Fi before cell phone coverage

La Rioja-based IR Soluciones installs public Wi-Fi to bridge the technological gap in towns in La Rioja and Soria

As the COVID-19 lockdown gradually opens up, La Rioja-based company IR Soluciones is installing public Wi-Fi in three towns in Soria and one town in La Rioja, thanks to the European Union WiFi4EU initiative. The installation of public Wi-Fi is being carried out in the Soria towns of La Póveda, Arguijo and Barriomartín and in Rodezno, La Rioja.

The European Union has issued several calls under this initiative, offering grants of €15,000 ($16,400) to install Wi-Fi equipment in public spaces in those towns that request it. They can be both for outdoor spaces and in public buildings.

Arguijo, a small village perched at an altitude of 4,300 feet in the remote mountains of Soria, with no cell phone coverage to speak of and a population of 33, is a typical example of rural Spain. This summer, public Wi-Fi will bridge the technological gap and bring about a dramatic improvement for the lives of the local population.

IR Soluciones, the WiFi4EU experts
IR Soluciones has acquired extensive experience in public Wi-Fi installations under the WiFi4EU initiative. Villoslada de Cameros, La Rioja, was the first town to receive public WI-FI in May 2019, and there are already more than 250 people accessing the network. Other towns in La Rioja include Huércanos (December, more than a hundred identified users), Herce, Casalarreina and even Logroño, where it was installed in public squares (El Espolón, Plaza del Ayuntamiento and Escuelas Daniel Trevijano) as well as municipal buildings (various locations inside City Hall, House of Sciences and Rafael Azcona Library).

Before IR Soluciones submits a proposal, it carries out a study to identify the public areas with the highest traffic of people as well as those locations that may be of interest to the local economy, such as public spaces close to local tourist venues and small hospitality or trade businesses.

In June 2020, WiFi4EU has launched another call for the installation of more public Wi-Fi in European towns. The grants are assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis and there is usually a high demand. The grant covers the entire initial cost of the Wi-Fi network installation.

IR Soluciones is committed to local businesses and, in La Rioja, it partners with Electricidad Oliván, Electrónica Sayca and the ISP Knet Comunicaciones.

Installation in towns
The installation in Arguijo will be on the main street, in the church square and the pelota court.

Arguijo belongs to the municipality of La Póveda, Soria (pop. 123), as does Barriomartín (pop. 37). La Póveda will have public Wi-Fi in the area of the town hall and the church, as well as on Calle Real. Barriomartín residents will be able to connect to the Internet in the areas near the town bar and the town meeting hall, as well as other areas in the municipality.

This installation posed some technical difficulties, as a 30 MB Internet line was required, which IR Soluciones had to bring in from the town of Almarza, about four miles from Barriomartín. Once the installation has concluded in these three small towns, they will have open Wi-Fi that only requires logging in for the townspeople and vacationers to be able to access the Internet with optimum speed and with the security measures for responsible use.

Rodezno, La Rioja, has Wi-Fi since this June
IR Soluciones is currently also carrying out an installation in the town of Rodezno, La Rioja, which will have free Wi-Fi in its public spaces from June. Rodezno will provide Wi-Fi access in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, swimming pools, the winery district, and inside two municipal buildings, the town multi-purpose hall and the school.