February 5, 2006

Fon Scores its First Touchdown

Filed under: code — Wendy @ 4:05 pm

Martin Varsavsky has just blogged about FON’s partnership with Google , Skype, Sequoia Capital, and Index Ventures
as investors. FON is a startup, of which I’m on the board of advisors, that aims to put wireless internet everywhere by linking sharing and commercial installations. This investment will help get FON off to a strong start.

As Martin says,

[The investment gives FON] a strategic boost that should help us make this great idea into a great platform for everyone who wants a faster, cheaper and more secure wireless Internet. We’ll invest this money in R&D so we can make it quicker and easier to become a FONERO and so that we can expand the number of things you can do with your FON service. Our goal, after all, isn’t just to share bandwidth. It’s to use the power of people to people networks to create a global wireless network.

I’m somewhat of a techie — I built my own MythTV instead of buying a TiVo, I run the server this blog sits on (in my living room), and had my wifi shared already, on its own IP apart from my internal network (I’m pleased that my ISP, Speakeasy, [updated:] welcomes FON use). So what’s new about FON? FON aims to make it easy for non-techies to join the wifi-sharing community too — with FON-ready routers
for sale and user-friendly installers coming soon, with security taken into account — and by doing that, it gives all of us more places to connect. You can join as a “Linus,” sharing wifi from your broadband connection and getting it free elsewhere on the network; as a “Bill,” sharing wifi and getting paid for it (but paying if you want to use others’ hotspots); or as an “Alien,” paying a reasonable subscription fee to roam on the FON network.

FON is in beta right now — or, to use a football analogy on this Super Bowl Sunday, we’ve scored the first touchdown but it’s still early in the first quarter, and we’ve got a good playbook going forward. Techies can get the software up and running, but only as Linuses, so far; non-techies might want to buy a router or wait for the next revision. The Alien and Bill rollouts will come later, as the infrastructure is built out further. If we can get 3,000 Foneros in 3 months of alpha-stage, who knows how many might join the game as we move forward!

6 Comments

  1. FON Times

    I met Martin Varsavsky last March at the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security last March in Madrid, where he’d invited me to join an Internet working group. He impressed me with his energy, vision and genuine belief that people wor

    Trackback by Bayosphere — February 5, 2006 @ 5:35 pm

  2. A dream come true

    As you know, FON is a global community of people who share WiFi connections. We call these people “Foneros”, as a tribute to our heritage as a Spanish company. In order to become a Fonero, you go to FON, to…

    Trackback by Martin Varsavsky | English — February 5, 2006 @ 7:11 pm

  3. A dream come true

    As you know, FON is a global community of people who share WiFi connections. We call these people “Foneros”, as a tribute to our heritage as a Spanish company. In order to become a Fonero, you go to FON, to…

    Trackback by Martin Varsavsky | English — February 5, 2006 @ 7:33 pm

  4. about fon: i don’t think that Varsavsky nice idea need to involve the word money (at least, when you are obtaining profit from resources other person is paying for). that’s the reason why i am collaborating in a project named WiFree

    WiFree is open source and is based on a fully non-centralized P2P authentication and reputation model so you can share your bandwitdh limiting freeriders. by using WiFree in your router you can be sure when you open your wireless hotspot!

    there’s a version for linux and the linksys wrt54g family too.

    we propose a simple model: you get internet access from any WiFree hotspot if you also provide WiFree access to other users in a fair way

    you can have a look and get the WiFree from http://www.wifree-project.net

    have a nice wifree!!
    jooe

    Comment by jooe — February 7, 2006 @ 1:17 pm

  5. Hello.

    And what about quality of services ? If i create a hotspot and at the same time i download like a mad !?!? Bandwith ? We tested our gsm-wifi-voip phones while using a lot of bandwith to donwload and upload, and the quality is really poor !… Donc figure how they can spent all that money… anyway it’s not mine !!!

    Cheers

    Comment by Emidio Sacramento — February 10, 2006 @ 8:12 am

  6. Advisors, Stock Options and FON

    So this whole thing about advisors for FON has been kind of funny to watch (not of course for the bloggers on both sides of it, who have been rather upset and not, of course for the FON people who…

    Trackback by Napsterization — February 13, 2006 @ 3:43 am

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