September 20, 2005
Wifi Everywhere

One thing that is definitely not lacking in Estonia is internet access. There are hundreds of Wifi (pronounced vee-fee, with a lively lingering on the f sound, as in "jiffy") hotspots around the country. There's even a website that lists all of them. estimates that 45,000 square km have Wifi access. This, in a country with a third of the population of Montreal.

The official internet policy here mandates free net access points "within cycling distance" of where people live. There's also talk of expanding existing free Wifi access (in parks, schools, libraries and beaches) to the entire city of Tallinn.

Would that wifi-impoverished Montreal (much less the feds) would take their cue from places like Estonia. Then again, Montrealers generally seem to have better things to do in coffeeshops than sit in front of laptops. That being one of the main reasons I love the city, I won't complain too loudly.

(Lots of software development here, too. Heard of Kazaa or Skype? Both were made in Tallinn, or so I hear. Skype's head offices are here, in any case. More dubiously, one of Hotmail's main investors was Estonian.)

posted by dru in eesti