Saturday, April 14, 2012

The World's Internet Powerhouse Is Estonia

How Tiny Estonia Stepped Out Of USSR's Shadow To Become An Internet Titan -- The Guardian

The European country where Skype was born made a conscious decision to embrace the web after shaking off Soviet shackles.

In 1995, four years after Estonia broke free from the USSR, Toomas Hendrik Ilves read a "very Luddite" book by Jeremy Rifkin called The End of Work. "It argued that with greater computerisation there would be fewer jobs," remembered Ilves, then a senior diplomat, now the country's president, "which from his point of view was terrible."

Ilves and many of his colleagues saw it differently. In a tiny (population: 1.4 million) and newly independent country like Estonia, politicians realised computers could help quickly compensate for both a minuscule workforce and a chronic lack of physical infrastructure.

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My Comment: They may have a dominant position now .... but threats to the internet as we know it may change this.

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