Tuesday, February 07, 2006


FON is a Spanish company that recently received $20M investment from VC's, Google and Skype

"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 download software that you install in your router, you place your antenna by a window and you share bandwidth with other Foneros from anywhere in the world. You can also buy the FON Ready router from our web site, plug and play. FON creates a free WiFi roaming environment for those who contribute WiFi signals, namely those who have already signed up with a local ISP and downloaded our software into their WiFi routers.

The success of FON, like the success of all online communities -- such as eBay, Skype, ICQ, IM -- depends on many people joining.

FON was launched just 90 days ago and we already have over 3,000 registered Foneros." - link

What got me interested was their idea of this working in developing countries like Pakistan

"While in Europe, Japan and United States FON´s motto is share broadband at home have broadband everywhere in Argentina for example our motto will be, team up with your neighbors to share bandwidth...through wifi. In order for broadband to have a similar impact on people´s budget the sharing will have to be on an approximate 10:1 ratio. Initially ISPs may be against our model but we will probably prevail when they see that we will work with them, deploy our model in low income neighborhoods and the result will be that more connections are sold." - link

I wonder if it is really feasable in a place like PK, where broadband is prohibitively expensive, costing Rs 1K per month (about US $15) for a 256KBPS (allegedly) connection with a 1GB/month limit - broadband licenses are only handed out to a select few, there is no level playing field - Spider Magazine has debated this issue many times

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