A free public Wi-Fi network will open in Helsinki in the beginning March, reports Helsingin Sanomat today. The network will cover the cafés and boutiques around the central Esplanadi park.

This good news to anyone wishing to access the internet wirelessly in Helsinki, where free Wi-Fi is practically nonexistent. In a surprising departure from the open access approach of neighboring cities Turku, Tampere, and Tallinn, the mayor of Helsinki has taken a stand against open wireless networks.

The open network is the accomplishment of a private individual, former Nokia CEO Kalle Isokallio, who grew frustrated with Helsinki’s Wi-Fi aversion. Isokallio funds the operation together with a restaurant chain and Fujitsu.

“I wanted to show that this can be built as a one-man operation. It’s not a question of money, it’s a question of will”, Isokallio is quoted saying.

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Mike Butcher
February 23rd, 2006 at 7:08 am (#)

That’s great news. When I was recently in Helsinki I had to make do with camping in Cafe Teatro, or Cafe Java: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mbites/93200227/

Jyri
February 23rd, 2006 at 7:39 am (#)

The Café Java space was formerly Aula’s social club. Good to hear the network is still working.
For the record, the other places offering free Wi-Fi that I know of are:
– Café Engel on Senate Square (the Piano Room in the back)
– Bar Teatteri in the Swedish Theatre on Erottaja
– Kiasma museum of modern art (the café)
– Helsinki 10 public library in the former main post office building next to Kiasma
Does anyone know other free hotspots?

John Anthony Evans
February 26th, 2006 at 6:45 am (#)

Wanyes coffee in Kamppi (if its still an open network) and also there is Kaisa (the bar across the street from Wanyes coffee)
Also I have a friend who lives on sepänkatu who has left his router open for all :)

Jyri
March 17th, 2006 at 6:06 am (#)

More open hotspots:
– Cafe Rytmi in Hakaniemi
– There’s also a bar on Mariankatu that advertises free Wi-Fi but I can’t remember its name

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