There’s a saying that a “good neighbor is one that does not put a password on his or her WiFi.” Baku is poising itself to be a good neighbor to its more than two million residents and city-goers.
Free WiFi hotspots will be established in the city’s public spaces and provided by the Baku Telephone Communications Company. The park between the Port Baku Resident and Port Baku Mall in the city center, near Baku Boulevard, is the next destination for free Wi-Fi service, according to Trend news agency. Hotspots will be launched in Dede Gorgud and Narimanov parks, considered two of Baku’s most visited locations near the city center.
A hotspot is a physical location where people can tap into wireless internet service using via their electronic devices that are equipped with WiFi technology, like a smartphone or laptop computer.
The free Wi-Fi campaign in Baku started with the adoption of the government project “Public Wi-Fi” in March of this year, aimed at providing locals and tourists with high-speed, free internet access in places where people congregate in large numbers. Around one million people have joined free Wi-Fi networks since the installation of the first access point, dubbed “Baku loves you,” at the Baku Boulevard, according to the Baku Telephone Communications Company.
Today almost all of the most popular sightseeing places in Baku, including the Icherisheher (Old City) Historical and Architectural Reserve, Baku Boulevard, Heydar Aliyev Center, Winter Park and Sahil (Seaside) Garden have free internet access points.
Statistics data compiled by Internet World Stats revealed nearly 3.9 billion out of 7.9 billion worldwide, or 50 percent of the people in the world had internet access as of June 30, 2017. Nearly half of internet users resided in Asia, according to Internet World Stats.
Azerbaijan topped the list of Caspian region countries in 2016, with 78.2 percent or 7.7 million out of its 9.8 million overall population, having internet access, according to the International Telecommunications Union’s State of Broadband 2017: Broadband Catalyzing Sustainable Development” report.
Kazakhstan came in second out of the five Caspian states, with an internet penetration of 76.8 percent of its population, while Russia ranked third, with 76.4 percent. Iran claimed to be fourth with 53.2 percent and Turkmenistan ranked last, with 18 percent.
Expanding free WiFi coverage in Baku is coming just in time for the major shopping festival that will be held from October 15 to November 15. It will be the second edition of its kind, after the city hosted a similar event from April to May earlier this year, which attracted more than 250,000 tourists and locals.