On my travels to Estonia’s largest island, Saaremaa a few years ago I was gobsmacked to be able to connect to the free public WiFi network – in a rural location that seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. But I shouldn’t have been surprised, because Estonia already had a reputation for being a worldwide leader in e-services.
This week Rīga, European Capital of Culture 2014, takes the front stage by announcing the further expansion of its free public WiFi network to become the top European leader putting Estonia’s capital Tallinn in second spot followed by Stockholm, Vienna, Paris and Helsinki.
The free WiFi service is provided by Lattelecom, a telecommunications company partly owned by the Latvian government. Lattelecom is also known for its innovative services such as Internet TV and blindingly fast 1 Gbits/s optical Internet connections. Each WiFi point in Latvia’s capital city will on average serve up to 750 residents and the company claims a minimum of 3 WiFi points per square kilometre. Lattelecom provides over 3700 WiFi points throughout Latvia including 21 hospitals, 165 educational institutions as well as major city parks and recreation areas.
To use the service connect to the “Lattelecom-free” WiFi network , watch the 15 second advertisement and then starting using the Internet. After 30 minutes of usage you will be required to watch another 15 second slot before continuing with your online session.
This service is just in time for the tourist season and the upcoming 8th World Choir Games to be hosted by Riga early next month. When you decide to go online from Vērmanes dārzs or other favourite outdoor venue don’t forget to send us your WiFi experiences.
More details on the WiFi service including locations are available from wifi.lv/en.html.
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