Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Dram: Netstonia

Netstonia1 Netstonia2
Estonia really "gets" the internet, and hi-speed wi-fi connection is available practically everywhere here in the capital city of Tallinn. When I asked the receptionist at my budget little hotel if wi-fi was available, she looked at me like I was from another planet and said, "Of course, and it is free." Color me happy. Everywhere I have been in my exploration around the city, I have seen people using their laptops. Besides in the usual places like hotel lobbies and cafes, you see people who are obviously online in virtually every restaurant, pub and public area. Rumor has it that you can even check your email while you are filling your tank at the gas station. When I saw the sign above in the middle of a public green space, I had to shake my head: Free wireless internet is even available at your favorite park bench. Amazing. For a little country that has only recently begun its economic development after "the Soviet days", Estonia is way ahead of every "developed" country I have been to in terms of ubiquitous internet access. Then again, it occurs to me that a number of the smaller, less developed countries I have been to are noteworthy for their relative level of internet access. Come to think of it, the least available, slowest and most expensive internet access I have had on the entire Voyage has been in the USA. Go figure.

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