Community Wi-Fi Scheme

This scheme is now closed for new applications. Money for successful applications to be claimed from CIF by March 2020.

What is it?

The Community Wi-Fi Scheme has been set up to enable local communities to provide a superfast public Wi-Fi service via their community hubs with support from the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF).

Our aim is to encourage and support communities to make use of the upgraded infrastructure being installed by the Superfast Essex programme. The scheme is aimed at but not limited to community hubs enabled to access superfast broadband.

The scheme could help existing groups using community hubs to be better engaged online, or provide additional value to the venue for future prospective users looking for somewhere to hire.

From October 2017, community hubs can select ANY SUPPLIER of their choice to provide a superfast broadband solution with public Wi-Fi access under the Community Wi-Fi Scheme.

What is a "Community Hub"?

A 'community hub' is a community facility such as a village hall, community centre, or parish hall, run as a charity or on a ‘not for profit’ basis, that is available to the public to use and hire in a particular area for community-related recreational activities. This excludes halls only available primarily for one exclusive use such as pre-schools, members clubs etc.

The CIF is a small grants scheme funded by Essex County Council, designed to fund community projects.

Money from the CIF has been set aside for this scheme to help community hubs pay for the set up costs of a Wi-Fi service. Up to £400 can be claimed per community hub. Community hubs will subsequently need to pay a monthly service charge for their Wi-Fi service.

More information on CIF and application forms for funding for the Community Wi-Fi scheme can be found on the CIF website at or via the links below.

Guidance Notes CIF-Wi-Fi Scheme 2017-18

Application Form 2017-2018