Monday, February 06, 2006

Become a fonero and change the world

Today I read about FON, a global community of people that share wi-fi access. They just made the news because they announced support from several well known companies (Google , Skype, Sequoia Capital, and Index Ventures) that will surely catapult FON into the sky. The basic idea is to turn any wifi router into a hotspot and have people share their internet connection by installing some software on their routers or buying pre-configured wireless routers from the company. You can only use other people's FON hotspots if you are paying for one ISP at home so this is also good for the internet service providers. You can try to make money with your FON hotspot (they call these users Bills) or you can be more utopian and give away your internet connection for free (and be called a Linus). If you do not have a FON account you are called an alien but you can still connect to a FON hotspot and you will have to pay just like at any hotspot (and the ISPs get some money from this as well).
At first glance it looks like an all win cenario but only time will tell. It is certainly one case where the more that join the better the service will become and if this gets of the ground then once you pay for a connection at home you have it almost everywhere.

This is one of those simple utopian ideas with enough practical sense to make an impact so I think I will give it a try :).