Surf’s Up In Estonia

c|net: “It is time to say that electricity and the Internet are very similar in end users’ eyes,” the sandy-haired Veljo Haamer said over a cup of smoky black tea.
Haamer, one of Estonia’s unofficial chief geeks, is largely responsible for a level of Wi-Fi connectivity-–even in remote areas-–that puts the biggest cities in America to shame. For the last three years, he and a handful of volunteer evangelists with the WiFi.ee organization have successfully lobbied Estonian cafes, hotels, hospitals, city parks, local governments and even major gas stations to start offering Net access, helping to design and set up the networks.
The results have been nothing short of astounding. I recently spent nearly three weeks traveling around the small Baltic country, and found that in small-town cafes, city parks–even in a remote national park in a town without so much as a bar or restaurant-–I was able to turn on my laptop and go online at the touch of a button.

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.