The world is wired. Whether you can imagine life without the Net ornot, the truth is that today’s modern societies would plunge into chaos(at least for some time) without it. Still only several cities in theworld can boast ubiquitous Internet access. See the world’s mostconnected cities where the Internet is almost as available as the air.
6. Tallinn. Estonia
Tallinn, the capital of one of the Europe’s tiniest countries -Estonia, has one of the best Internet services on the European continentand it is the best-connected country in the Eastern Europe. It’s hardto believe that the medieval center of the town, with its cobblestonepicturesque streets, dozens of churches, historic ruins, cafes andboutiques, is actually a cyber city. The wireless connection isavailable, virtually, in every corner of this ancient town and it isalmost always free of charge.
Estonians are crazy about the Internet to such an extent that freeNet access is a basic right guaranteed by theparliament. All schools, universities and public offices have freeInternet connection, more than 90% of all bank transactions aree-transactions, the Estonians vote and pay taxes online, and Tallinn’s citizens buy bus passes and pay parking tickets via textmessages. The WiFi is also free on commuter trains. The country mightwell be renamed E-stonia.
5. Seattle. The USA.
Stylish Seattle, beautifully located between Puget Sound andLake Washington, is the country’s top spot in terms of the Internetaccess. According to Forbes.com that surveyed 30 American cities,Seattle has been the most broadband-connected city in the USA in 2009:it has the highest percentage of Internet users with high-speedconnections and the largest number of public wireless spots. In theForbes’ annual ranking Seattle has dethroned Atlanta, which held thetitle of the most-connected American city in 2007 and 2008.
The city, home to Amazon.com and Microsoft, has been working hard tobecome the most wired city in the USA. In 2005 the City of Seattle launched a seattlewifi pilot project providing free Internet in theColumbia City, the University District, the City Hall lobby area, andSeattle’s four downtown parks. In 2006 14,400 different users accessedthe seatlewifi, while in 2008 the number increased to over 20,000.
4. Hong Kong. China.
Hong Kong, the Chinese metropolis, leading financial center and oneof the biggest concentrations of corporate headquarters in theAsia-Pacific region, features, not surprisingly, one of the world’shighest broadband household penetration boasting a rate of 72%. In 2013, 80%of Hong Kong households are expected to be wired up for broadbandInternet, as Gartner, an IT research company, reported.
The Hong Kong’s leading and most innovative provider of fastconnections is Hong Kong Broadband Network. It offers the Internetaccess up to 1Gbps, broadband TV service, and broadband phone services.As a result, Hong Kong’s Internet is fast, stable and really cheap.HKBN provides symmetric 100Mbps unlimited broadband access for US$34per month.
Singapore, the small Asian city-state, is the fifth wealthiestcountry in the world, and one of the Four Asian Tigers (along HongKong, South Korea and Taiwan). It is also one of the world’smost-connected cities with a super-developed telecommunicationsinfrastructure. The broadband technology has been strongly promoted andsupported by the government – access to broadband connection is one ofthe main themes of the Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015) program, a10-year master plan.
Currently, the broadband household penetration rate totals to 63%,and it is expected to reach 78% in 2013, according to Gartner. In turn,Point Topic broadband communications research company states that morethan 90% of Singapore’s households have some form of the broadbandInternet connection and this will reach almost 100% in 2010. Moreover,the city is dotted with WiFi hotspots, and WiMax network can be found in theseaport.
The iN2015 plan aims to build a national networkcalled Next Gen NBN that will deliver ultra high broadband of 1Gbps toall households and public institutions as well as a Wireless Broadband Network(WBN) around the city.
2. Amsterdam. The Netherlands.
Europe’s most laid-back city, Amsterdam, is the most connected city in Western Europe and one ofthe most wired global metropolises. You can basically use the Internetwhile riding your bike and even if you venture into the most lonesomecorners of the town.
In 2008 Worldmax launched Wimax, on-the-go broadband Internet,in the city. At first it was only for PC users, but in June 2009 theAerea service has been added, which allows MAC users enjoy the wirelessbroadband Internet everywhere. The Wimax is available for city’sresidents for only €9.95 per month, and visitors can buy a day, aweek or a month prepaid balance.
Moreover, the country boats Europe’s highest penetration of household broadbandconnection of 80% and in 2013 the penetration rate is to increase to88%.