Nowhere Beats Europe for Fast Public WiFi. Not Asia, and Certainly Not the US.

Ever been a tourist or a business traveler who wants to get around international data charges? If so, you’ve learned there’s a lot of difference in free, public WiFi speeds. Still, the hotspots are growing fast and that includes cafes, bars, restaurants, etc. And lately, these public WiFi hotspots are popping up everywhere.

But, as you’ll find to your chagrin, connectivity and quality are not always much to brag about. So recently published a highly useful survey, all available on their app from Itunes. They have measured and evaluated the quality of hotspots in 172 countries. Their collected data revealed the top 20 with the best public WiFi. Customer satisfaction is ranked from 4 or 5 points to ten. The download speeds are as follows:

The majority of countries in the Top 20 are located in Europe, only a couple in America and one in Asia. Leading position is taken by Lithuania with the avg. download speed of 15,4 Mbps and upload – 14,17 Mbps, not far behind Croatia with avg. download of 14,05 Mbps and upload speed of 11,21 Mbps, followed by Estonia with recorded avg. download speed of 13,75 Mbps and upload of 12,04 Mbps.

I expected Singapore to be tops, but I was way off the mark. It’s #12 out of #20 and the highest Asia scorer with 9,49 Mbps download. I suspect the reason Rotten selected the top 20 is because the US is #20 on the list with 6,89 Mbps download speed. You can find hotel WiFI here.  I typically stay at Marriott Courtyard which offers free WiFI at 5,6 Mbps download. I have Comcast commercial at a healthy, consistent 6,0 download and nearly 12,0 download in my home and was told several months ago that that download  might go up to 15,0 this summer which would be unbelievable. Recently, however, a Comcast techie told me that there were no available plans at that speed. Need to get their story straight.

Minneapolis has public WiFi up to 6,0 Mbps for about $20 a month and a lot of my friends who work in the city are happy to pay for it.Chaska, one of our upscale suburbs put in public WiFi years ago, but the costs to upgrade suggest that the city Wifi will soon come to an end.

European tax plans make many things available that most American can only dream of. Our highly individualistic and anti-government culture continues to be a limitation. We really, really like things that are free and seem to live in that la-la land. That’s our history since the Revolutionary War and I doubt it will change except for the more enlightened states like Minnesota, Massachusetts, California, Oregon and Washington. Having lived in six different states over the years and worked in a dozen others, the states vary profoundly in their sophistication. Some of the states seem little more than 3rd world countries, while others lead the world. Ahhh, well.

FYI: If you really want to understand why the states differ in their offerings so much, why some provide public WiFi and others don’t, or why some provide emphasize community responsibility, why some enforce capital punishment and others don’t, etc., read Colin Woodard, American Nations: A history of the eleven rival regional cultures of north America. I learned more about my Western Kentucky and Michigan heritage than I wanted to know. Culture impacts everything, including public WiFi.

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