Welcome to WiFi Niue!

The South Pacific island of Niue on Monday become the world’s first nation to provide free wireless Internet access to its entire population. Located east of Tonga in the Cook Island archipelago and formerly known as Savage Island, Niue is approximately 1.5-times the size of Washington, D.C., but with a population of only 1,700 people. Among the world’s smallest self-governing nations, it supports itself by selling passion fruit, lime oil, coconut cream, and postage stamps, plus gets economic aid from New Zealand. Despite their tiny population and economy, Nineuans operate a TV station and AM and FM radio stations and generate 300 to 500 megabytes per day in Internet traffic, according to the Internet Users Society of Niue (IUSN). “WiFi is the prefect fit for the Island of Niue, where harsh weather conditions of rain, lightning, salt water, and high humidity cause major problems with underground copper lines,” Richard St Clair, co-founder of IUSN and Chairman of the Pacific Island Chapter of the worldwide Internet Society (ISOC), told Unstrung.com, a news site devoted to wireless Internet access. The Niueans will also provide free WiFi access to tourists and yachts.

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