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.