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MacRumors
Oct 30, 2007, 02:02 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

AppleInsider reports (http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/07/10/30/steve_jobs_keen_on_a_world_where_people_share_wifi.html) that Steve Jobs recently met with Martin Varsavsky about FON (http://www.fon.com), a company that is trying to provide "WiFi for Everyone". Steve Jobs was reportedly "very interested" in FON's technology and service.

FON is described as the largest WiFi community in the world and works by offering users a community WiFi router that allows individuals to securely share their internet connection. In exchange for setting up this public WiFi node, you are allowed to use other FON users' WiFi spots around the world.
"I really think [Jobs] liked the idea of FON. I think he loves the idea of a world where people share WiFi. That I could tell," Varsavsky said. "I think he would like for there to be an opporunity for everyone to share WiFi."

FON addresses security concerns by separating the connection into an encrypted private and public network.

Apple is likely interested in the possibility of a public Wifi network for use with its iPhone and iPod touch devices.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/10/30/steve-jobs-interested-in-wi-fi-sharing/)



Eidorian
Oct 30, 2007, 02:03 PM
I'm up for free wi-fi access. What keeps anyone from using iPhone or iPod access though? ;)

arn
Oct 30, 2007, 02:07 PM
I'm up for free wi-fi access. What keeps anyone from using iPhone or iPod access though? ;)

Password protected. you need to be a FON user.

arn

rdowns
Oct 30, 2007, 02:07 PM
Seems an interesting way of getting widespread wifi access. I keep reading about towns/villages/cities trying to do it and failing miserably.

Eidorian
Oct 30, 2007, 02:08 PM
Password protected. you need to be a FON user.

arnThat is true for FON but you can set open access as well.


What I meant was for open spots specifically for the iPod Touch and iPhone. ;)

dizastor
Oct 30, 2007, 02:08 PM
free public wifi everywhere.

opensource internet.

welcome to the future.

Rojo
Oct 30, 2007, 02:11 PM
This is a genius idea -- I really hope Apple goes with it.

misfit356tsw
Oct 30, 2007, 02:21 PM
Does anyone know the nitty gritty details of how it works?

Jetson
Oct 30, 2007, 02:23 PM
I wish there was some way to tell where Wi-Fi hotspots were located.

There doesn't seem to be any reliable mapping system or register or anything really. A few websites that aren't complete.

You kind of have to walk around like Mr. Magoo, hoping to run into a hotspot.

backspinner
Oct 30, 2007, 02:25 PM
Does anyone know the nitty gritty details of how it works?

it doesn't. we have such a free router but are unable to set it up with our Macs in the home...

spazzcat
Oct 30, 2007, 02:26 PM
Does anyone know how ISP will respond to this?

hunterjoules
Oct 30, 2007, 02:26 PM
I'm sure the Cable companies aren't very happy with this news. I wouldn't be surprised if FON users found their service terminated not long after they started sharing their internet connection.

It sounds like a great concept, provided the ISPs don't try to put up a fight.

hunterjoules
Oct 30, 2007, 02:27 PM
Does anyone know how ISP will respond to this?

My thoughts exactly. :)

~Shard~
Oct 30, 2007, 02:29 PM
I wonder if Google will have a part to play in something like this based on the current rumors...

john789
Oct 30, 2007, 02:31 PM
with free wi-fi who really needs at&t!? i mean just install Skype on the iphone and call all your friends all the time!!! :D


/me waits for macbook....

plumbingandtech
Oct 30, 2007, 02:32 PM
I'm sure the Cable companies aren't very happy with this news. I wouldn't be surprised if FON users found their service terminated not long after they started sharing their internet connection.

It sounds like a great concept, provided the ISPs don't try to put up a fight.

I wonder if cable companies can say something like, "you can't string your cable to your neighbors so they can watch TV, same goes for your Internet"

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

HobeSoundDarryl
Oct 30, 2007, 02:33 PM
The main challenge being that almost all consumers have a "use" agreement that prohibits them from sharing their connections in this way. I think the idea is fantastic, but the cell phone companies (who just happen to also be the companies on the other end of your DSL/cable modem connections that you might share if you wanted to do this) want to be sure that a world of free wifi doesn't exist, and thus endanger very, VERY lucrative cell phone revenue streams.

With broad adoption of a FON concept, plus iphones with software like SKYPE, it is easy to imagine near free wireless communications (cell phone industry nearly killed in a single shot). But, let's see if any FON scenario every allows us to get there.

mdntcallr
Oct 30, 2007, 02:34 PM
i'd rather keep my Wifi and bandwidth to myself. better speed for me.

it's what i pay for.

there would need to be a good reason to share for me to change my mind.

frogger2020
Oct 30, 2007, 02:35 PM
I'm sure the Cable companies aren't very happy with this news. I wouldn't be surprised if FON users found their service terminated not long after they started sharing their internet connection.

It sounds like a great concept, provided the ISPs don't try to put up a fight.

I have been a FON user for about a year and had no problems. There is one problem. I have never seen another FON network that I could use. I feel like I am the lone voice screaming into the wind.

nukiduz
Oct 30, 2007, 02:42 PM
i'd rather keep my Wifi and bandwidth to myself. better speed for me.

it's what i pay for.

there would need to be a good reason to share for me to change my mind.

how about being able to connect to others' spots?

PoitNarf
Oct 30, 2007, 02:42 PM
How about Mr. Jobs and company give the iPhone and iPod Touch the capability to connect to wireless networks that require 802.1x authentication schemes first, then worry about these other Wi-Fi plans.

ChrisA
Oct 30, 2007, 02:44 PM
This is the way the Internet used to be, back when I first used it. There were no commercial ISPs and no one paid for a connection to the Internet. They paid for a connection to someone else that had a conection to the 'net. Likely you paid for several conections to several different people who had a conection. It was a real "network" not a service like you get from a cable company.

This is a return to a user run network. Just think.If everyone had wifi and everyone shared it with four of their neighbors. then everyone would have access to enormous bandwidth although routing would be more complex.

Until the Earth is covered with this we's still have to pay the telcoms to move data between islands of conectivity, but those islands could grow to be the size of a city.

wifi can cover have a surprising distance. If two people use directional antenna and have a true line of sight between them 10 miles is "easy"

Hugin777
Oct 30, 2007, 02:45 PM
What if someone uses your connection to hack into the Pentagon, or share child porn, or something like that ?

I guess you would get all the blame, right ?

entropys
Oct 30, 2007, 02:46 PM
Wouldn't work in Australia, where you pay for your internet connection by volume (downloads, and recently, even uploads on some ISPs!). Free wifi is a pipe dream :)

0racle
Oct 30, 2007, 02:48 PM
I wonder if cable companies can say something like, "you can't string your cable to your neighbors so they can watch TV, same goes for your Internet"

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Most consumer ISP's already have this clause in the user agreement.

safXmal
Oct 30, 2007, 02:48 PM
Would it be possible to weave a network from iPod's, iPhones and FON routers?

I realize it would be complicated and perhaps the lag would be to big but it would be neat.

speedbumpnv
Oct 30, 2007, 02:49 PM
If you have to pay for service to share with others in order to share from others, its not “free”

Maybe I am reading it wrong. :confused:

Virgil-TB2
Oct 30, 2007, 02:51 PM
The main challenge being that almost all consumers have a "use" agreement that prohibits them from sharing their connections in this way. I think the idea is fantastic, but the cell phone companies (who just happen to also be the companies on the other end of your DSL/cable modem connections that you might share if you wanted to do this) want to be sure that a world of free wifi doesn't exist, and thus endanger very, VERY lucrative cell phone revenue streams. ...I don't know that this is true exactly and I am sure that you don't either despite how adamant you seem about it. :)

Certainly with cable companies in North America, one generally signs something to the effect of "this cable is only good for x number of people, otherwise you pay more," but not everyone gets Internet from the cable company.

In the UK, it's far worse given that they have that ridiculous "law" (of recent notoriety), that makes it illegal to "dishonestly (share) access the internet." :rolleyes:

I wouldn't think it's a given that this is explicitly disallowed by ISP contracts in any North American location though and there are probably ways around that agreement anyway. You could just say that you are splitting your internet connection into "inside the house" and "outside the house" streams for instance.

plumbingandtech
Oct 30, 2007, 02:53 PM
If everyone had wifi and everyone shared it with four of their neighbors.

And who is providing all this wonderful wifi?

The cable and phone companies.

And as 0racle mentioned, it goes against the user agreement, so it will be rough going here in the states.

This strikes me as something that could take off in Europe but will be held down here.

Time will tell.

happydude
Oct 30, 2007, 02:53 PM
The main challenge being that almost all consumers have a "use" agreement that prohibits them from sharing their connections in this way. I think the idea is fantastic, but the cell phone companies (who just happen to also be the companies on the other end of your DSL/cable modem connections that you might share if you wanted to do this) want to be sure that a world of free wifi doesn't exist, and thus endanger very, VERY lucrative cell phone revenue streams.

With broad adoption of a FON concept, plus iphones with software like SKYPE, it is easy to imagine near free wireless communications (cell phone industry nearly killed in a single shot). But, let's see if any FON scenario every allows us to get there.

the way i see it though, is that there actually isn't any real "free internet" since everyone who has a login to the FON network has their own FON at home/business/whatever and therefore is a paying user to an ISP. so . . . does this actually violate ISP rules since they aren't losing out on any revenue?

i guess that's just for regular land line ISP. i can see the cell phone companies being up in arms since they might lose revenue from cell phones connecting to wifi instead of their data streams . . . wonder how at&t would feel about people buying iphones and unlocking them and using them in this utopic world of "free" internet.

EagerDragon
Oct 30, 2007, 02:56 PM
Interesting, however your ISP may not think it is a good idea and probably violates the ISP rules.

ChrisA
Oct 30, 2007, 02:57 PM
i'd rather keep my Wifi and bandwidth to myself. better speed for me.

it's what i pay for.

there would need to be a good reason to share for me to change my mind.

It's a zero sum game, you loose exactly what you gain.

In theory if you shared your conection with one other person you'd "give away" half your ISP connection. But the other person also gives you half his connection. But actually you gain more because now you have a redundant conection if either person's ISP goes down you both are still on-line

This scales. With 10 people you give away 90% of your connection but get 10% of 9 other connections. What you gain now in addition to 10X redundancy is a huge amount of "peak" bandwidth because you can send and receive traffic over one wired and 9 wifi conections all at once. This does require 10 people all within range.

iQuit
Oct 30, 2007, 02:58 PM
but iPod touch and iPhone should incorporate Bonjour. With a simple software update people can be chatting over WiFi. Ever wanted to talk to that girl across the class? Send her a chat request... let's just hope she doesn't deny it. ;)


(just an idea)

EagerDragon
Oct 30, 2007, 02:58 PM
Does anyone know how ISP will respond to this?

Negativly unless you have a bussiness service.

rockosmodurnlif
Oct 30, 2007, 03:00 PM
What if someone uses your connection to hack into the Pentagon, or share child porn, or something like that ?

I guess you would get all the blame, right ?

Or a serious crime like downloading some tunes. RIAA watching ...

I wish there was some way to tell where Wi-Fi hotspots were located.

There doesn't seem to be any reliable mapping system or register or anything really. A few websites that aren't complete.

You kind of have to walk around like Mr. Magoo, hoping to run into a hotspot.

Or wear this (http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts/generic/991e/)...

killerrobot
Oct 30, 2007, 03:03 PM
Does anyone know how ISP will respond to this?

Fon is huge here in Madrid; there are over 200 wifi spots available just in my neighborhood.

I remember seeing a commercial for it and it seemed to me that they were the ISP -they provided the access, router, installation for free as long as you agree to keep the wireless connection open for other Fon users, who do have passwords etc. to get onto your network. They in return make money from people not hosting a WAP and therefore have to buy an account to access the Fon WAPs around them.

The commercial wasn't super clear, and neither is the webpage, but that's how it seemed it worked. So if your willing to share the bandwidth they provide you, you get free internet and free access to all other Fon WAPs.

EagerDragon
Oct 30, 2007, 03:04 PM
What if someone uses your connection to hack into the Pentagon, or share child porn, or something like that ?

I guess you would get all the blame, right ?

Even worse...... The RIAA may come after you and hit you with a 260,000 bill.

No way the ISP(s) are going to go along.

twoodcc
Oct 30, 2007, 03:19 PM
I'm up for free wi-fi access. What keeps anyone from using iPhone or iPod access though? ;)

me too. sounds pretty interesting.

paulobrad
Oct 30, 2007, 03:23 PM
People in the UK, BT already do this, if you have a Home Hub and BT broadband you can allow others to securely use your internet in return for totally unlimited Openzone minutes anywhere.

http://btfon.com/

So on iPhone launch day I'll be getting unlimited Cloud & Openzone :-D

uandir1
Oct 30, 2007, 03:26 PM
http://counternotions.com/2007/10/26/sj-meeting-video/

this is where appleinsider got their info - it's a 5 minute video clip describing the meeting with jobs. =)

NiteWaves77
Oct 30, 2007, 03:26 PM
PROHIBITED USES AND ACTIVITIES

Prohibited uses include, but are not limited to, using the Service, Customer Equipment, or the Comcast Equipment to:
...
ix. resell the Service or otherwise make available to anyone outside the Premises] the ability to use the Service (i.e. wi-fi, or other methods of networking), in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, or on a bundled or unbundled basis. The Service is for personal and non-commercial use only and you agree not to use the Service for operation as an Internet service provider or for any business enterprise or purpose, or as an end-point on a non-Comcast local area network or wide area network

Read your Terms of Service before you get wet over Socialism in Action.

lazyrighteye
Oct 30, 2007, 03:27 PM
I wonder if Google will have a part to play in something like this based on the current rumors...

Pretty sure you can count on some level of Google involvement.

iJawn108
Oct 30, 2007, 03:37 PM
Ha no thanks, someone in my apparenment has a FON I pick it up on my macbook all the time. I keep people off my network, at an llmost extreme.

mike12806
Oct 30, 2007, 03:38 PM
this is communistic at heart....and wimax or some long-distance wireless access will be mainstream way before this. I know that the maximum bandwidth I get is almost all consumed by my own network, I'm not sharing.

fastbite
Oct 30, 2007, 03:50 PM
Nothing is free but this is totally anarchic in spirit -- so I love it! Foneros of the world! UNITE!

shamino
Oct 30, 2007, 03:56 PM
i'd rather keep my Wifi and bandwidth to myself. better speed for me.
I'm not familiar with FON, but I've seen similar proposals in the US. Typically, there's some kind of QoS going on in the router, so your traffic will have priority over everybody else. Your usage should not be impacted by others - if there isn't enough bandwidth to go around, they'll see a shortage, not you.
there would need to be a good reason to share for me to change my mind.
The main reason for something like this is roaming. If the system is widespread, then you should be able to find an access point when traveling. You don't have to pay money for this access if you're sharing your excess bandwidth with other customers.
What if someone uses your connection to hack into the Pentagon, or share child porn, or something like that ?

I guess you would get all the blame, right ?
It's definitely a possibility. They could set up proper auditing and monitoring in their routers, and their back-end, so connections can be traced to the actual customer account, but this assumes they actually have this set up. And it may be up to you and your lawyer to pull the records for whatever law enforcement agency decides to investigate.
Certainly with cable companies in North America, one generally signs something to the effect of "this cable is only good for x number of people, otherwise you pay more," but not everyone gets Internet from the cable company.

In the UK, it's far worse given that they have that ridiculous "law" (of recent notoriety), that makes it illegal to "dishonestly (share) access the internet." :rolleyes:
In the US, it will depend on your contract. If it prohibits bandwidth sharing or reselling then you're SOL.

My gut feeling is that cable systems will definitely prohibit this, since bandwidth is shared between all customers on a segment of cable. It may or may not be prohibited for a point-to-point technology like DSL or FiOS, where your bandwidth is capped to an amount you're explicitly paying for.

As for the UK, I don't know the law but if it prohibits "dishonestly accessing the internet", that sounds more like a prohibition against piggybacking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piggybacking_%28internet_access%29). It doesn't sound like a prohibition against connecting to a third-party access point if you have permission, nor does it sound like a prohibition against giving access permission to the world at large. The key word here is "dishonestly".

(I'm assuming you inserted the word "share" as a form of commentary. If the law explicitly prohibits sharing access, that's something else, but I would be surprised if that is true.)

grappler
Oct 30, 2007, 04:12 PM
That'd be awesome if the next version of the airport happened to also be a FON router...

megfilmworks
Oct 30, 2007, 04:27 PM
This is just one of many reasons (wimax, etc.) that wifi will eclipse 3g and we may (hopefully) never see 3g on the iPhone.

JMax1
Oct 30, 2007, 04:28 PM
It seems like it wouldn't be free, right? At least not exactly. I think you're still paying for whatever YOUR service is, so the cable comps aren't really losing revenue, right? You're just opening up your own network to others, and then others are opening it up to you - kind of like gift exchanging, you have to send to receive.

And of course Jobs would be up for it - wifi everywhere is so much easier and faster than 3G!

Virgil-TB2
Oct 30, 2007, 04:30 PM
Fon is huge here in Madrid; there are over 200 wifi spots available just in my neighborhood.

I remember seeing a commercial for it and it seemed to me that they were the ISP -they provided the access, router, installation for free as long as you agree to keep the wireless connection open for other Fon users, who do have passwords etc. to get onto your network. They in return make money from people not hosting a WAP and therefore have to buy an account to access the Fon WAPs around them.

The commercial wasn't super clear, and neither is the webpage, but that's how it seemed it worked. So if your willing to share the bandwidth they provide you, you get free internet and free access to all other Fon WAPs.Woah. :) Sounds fantastic.

Imagine if Apple and Google joined up and used the bandwidth option to position themselves as ISP's in this way. Free Wi-Fi all over.

mergatroidal
Oct 30, 2007, 04:40 PM
waiting for the bus, and heard some people that were standing nearby, they were talking where Steve and the folks in Cupertino, and the people at Google, ... "sending up a couple of iGoogle-Satellites orbiting earth." :eek: I turned to look at these characters, they then said something about stock prices going through the roof, so I stepped closer, to hear them better, and they then moved farther away from me, so I didn't hear anything more.

:cool:

Has anyone else heard any rumors of Apple and Google, and a couple satellites orbiting earth in the near future? Maybe that's what this wifi talk is all about.

megfilmworks
Oct 30, 2007, 04:46 PM
From what I know, FON provides the router, isp, and a private network for you with a public network as well. They install it so it benefits the most people in your small area. You pay nothing and everyone wins! Not sure how FON makes their money though.

joeshell383
Oct 30, 2007, 05:12 PM
And of course Jobs would be up for it - wifi everywhere is so much easier and faster than 3G!

Ya, and it is even easier to buy songs from the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store!!!!!!!!

tyr2
Oct 30, 2007, 05:18 PM
In the UK BT (the incumbent Telco) have recently launched a FON partnership to share your BT Broadband connection. They're hoping to sign up thousands of users onto the scheme, I believe it can be used with existing BT Home Hub routers so there's no investment required from an end user point of view.

Edit: http://www.btfon.com/

snowfall
Oct 30, 2007, 06:08 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FON

FON has also signed various agreements with top Internet Service Providers (ISPs) around the world to actively promote the FON Service to their subscribers. Some of these ISPs include British Telecom, Time Warner Cable, Neuf Cegetel, Labs2, BB Excite, TIC, Scarlet, Manitu, Elitel, Erenis, Interoute, iBand, Interlink, Isao.net, Brastel, Seednet, CNS, and Interway.

Because not all ISPs allow their subscribers to share their broadband connections, FON requires its Foneros, prior to joining FON, to read their ISPs’ terms of use to make sure they are in fact allowed to share their connection. To date, no ISP has publicly announced that they will actively penalize their subscribers who participate in the FON Community.

There's also a list of pro and against ISPs there too.

I like there revenue sharing scheme and two user types: Linuses and Bills!

Unlike a Linus, though, a Bill receives money from FON when Aliens purchase FON Passes that FON sells on the Bill’s FON Spot. Thus, Bills receive a bit of money from the sale of FON Passes and also get free roaming. Any Linus can become a Bill by simply changing her profile in the FON User Zone and registering with PayPal.

SwitchingSoon
Oct 30, 2007, 06:10 PM
"B-but, how would Apple make money off of this?"

Thank goodness Steve Jobs is a free thinker. You can be sure if he were a straitlaced conservative.... the products and ideas and philosophy behind Apple would be humdrum. Sorry to those offended; it's almost fact. Unbounded minds are progressives. Think artists.

irun5k
Oct 30, 2007, 06:11 PM
WiFi is a mess right now in big cities. Whenever I'm in Honolulu I'm overwhelmed with dozens of hotspots in any one location. It is impossible to identify which ones I might want to use just based on the names in the list. Most of them are pay as you go type things but who knows how reputable most of them are. You have to join them and try to browse somewhere and get redirected to their home page to even see who they are. Sometimes the hotel I am staying at has free access but if not I'll usually just buy access directly from the hotel and be done with it.

Even though EDGE is slow, the one nice thing is having access anywhere you have a cell signal and not having to worry about giving some questionable outfit $5 for an hour just to send ore retrieve an important email.

Galaxius
Oct 30, 2007, 06:31 PM
Would that mean he'll do free WiFi in a certain city like.... CUPERTINO :). Hopefully he helps us out here (yes, I live in Cupertino haha).

Would this be a thing like Google did for Mountain View or a thing just for iPhones/iPod Touches?

babyj
Oct 30, 2007, 06:39 PM
I've read of plenty of ISPs that have a problem with FON, though I haven't heard of any that have actually taken any action - just saying that users aren't allowed to share their bandwidth in this way. I doubt any of them will actually do anything and will end up joining up in some form.

As others have mentioned, BT (the biggest provider of broadband in the UK) have signed a deal with FON. Not sure of the exact details but it looks like it basically gives the green light for their customers to share with FON and they're encouraging non-customers to sign up as well. I think you get access to all the BT hotspots as well, which makes it a far better deal.

Google and Skype are investors in FON and it wouldn't be a big surprise if some other big companies signed up as well. Maybe Apple will invest as well, maybe with some kind of deal to give iPhone users access.

Good news for everyone I reckon, its moving us closer and closer to cheap and easy WiFi access all across the globe - which is just a matter of time.

McScooby
Oct 30, 2007, 07:10 PM
is already included within it's Broadband packages. To get unlimited wifi at hotspots - subject to 500mins fair use I believe - you have to subscribe to top package.

It takes a max of 512kb from the end users' connection and shares it with whoever is connected at the time, ie 1 user 512kb, 10 users 51.2 kb etc.

It is however over-ridden if the end user is utilising the connection fully at the time as their traffic is given priority of users they are sharing with.

It supposedly is secure as visitor traffic is seperated from home encrypted network via a separate channel.

More info over at:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/05/bt_fon_wimax/

killerrobot
Oct 30, 2007, 07:56 PM
From what I know, FON provides the router, isp, and a private network for you with a public network as well. They install it so it benefits the most people in your small area. You pay nothing and everyone wins! Not sure how FON makes their money though.

Yeah, that's kinda what I said on page two, and I even explained how they made their money. ;)

@irun5k
On Fon's homepage you can type in your current address and see if and where the Fon networks are.

compuguy1088
Oct 30, 2007, 08:24 PM
How about Mr. Jobs and company give the iPhone and iPod Touch the capability to connect to wireless networks that require 802.1x authentication schemes first, then worry about these other Wi-Fi plans.

Agreed, I would love to be able to use my Campus' wifi, but alas it is 802.1x.....

ChrisA
Oct 30, 2007, 08:57 PM
What if someone uses your connection to hack into the Pentagon, or share child porn, or something like that ?

I guess you would get all the blame, right ?

Now days I guess some government thugs would break into your house and you'd "disappear" but before there was a legal concept that organizations like the US Postal Service and the phone company could not be charged with a crime if people used their service to plot a crime because the carriers had no roll in creating the information they carry. You would be part of a large public network and treated the same.

ChrisA
Oct 30, 2007, 09:04 PM
From what I know, FON provides the router, isp, and a private network for you with a public network as well. They install it so it benefits the most people in your small area. You pay nothing and everyone wins! Not sure how FON makes their money though.

I think the basic plan is that if you grow the pie everyone's slice gets bigger.
In other words Google can sell more ads if there are even more people using the Internet or the same people using it more. Universal free WiFi would certainly make the Internet bigger and maybe even allow different uses of it. It is easy to see what in it for Skype and why they are investing in FON.

wnurse
Oct 30, 2007, 09:45 PM
It seems like it wouldn't be free, right? At least not exactly. I think you're still paying for whatever YOUR service is, so the cable comps aren't really losing revenue, right? You're just opening up your own network to others, and then others are opening it up to you - kind of like gift exchanging, you have to send to receive.

And of course Jobs would be up for it - wifi everywhere is so much easier and faster than 3G!

It's not apparent you have to give to receive at all. Besides, yes, the cable companies is losing revenue since you would be using the service at a location that you normally cannot get it. Regardless of whether you think it's fair or not, they are losing revenue

HobeSoundDarryl
Oct 30, 2007, 09:47 PM
Guys, I would love to see something like this as much as any of you, but it won't happen in the USA as long as the cellular industry owns or has significant stakes in consumer broadband internet delivery. There is way too much profit (way, way too much) profit for them to ever allow free communications that could undermine cellular revenue streams.

A few replied to my earlier, similar post that broadband user agreements might not block this kind of thing (FON), but just follow the money. If the US had any kind of readily available wireless network available just about everywhere, the "crowd" would eventually switch from paying for those cell contracts to buying wifi/wimax phones and using a SKYPE-like solution for nearly free calls.

Even if some broadband provider doesn't have it in their user agreement now, the amendment prohibiting this use would come adding it to the terms of service. Without the ability to make more profit from supporting a concept like FON, US business won't allow it to happen. Who particularly? My best guess is the cell phone companies because they would stand to lose the most revenue.

You don't have 4 cell phone kiosks in every mall (we have 2 separate ATT cellular stores in our local mall, and they aren't probably more than 75 meters apart), and a cell phone seller or two in every strip mall because margins in that business are slim. All that hard cost to be everywhere is paid for with cash, which is a chunk of the total take from the cell phone industry.

Any competitor that pops up that threatens that industry with lower cost (Vonage for example) is attacked in every way possible (Vonage patent infringement suits for example) to preserve the lucrative cash flows of phone service that costs more than $24.99 per month. It is the cell phone companies that fight city governments to prevent city-wide wifi from being installed. Was it Verizon that made a deal with the state of Pennsylvania that only Philly could have a free wifi network when the state was moving toward creating city-wide networks in many its cities?

Some of you seem to be separating the two- apparently thinking of cellular business and broadband business and usage as two very different things-- that it might be possible that a concept like FON could become mainstream in the USA. But, in the end, free wifi/wimax over large areas of the US means a lot of people could drop big cellular costs and make their calls for "free" via SKYPE/Vonage-type arrangements. It will not be more profitable for ATT or Verizon, etc. to allow this to happen.

Let it get some legs in the US and it will go the way of the original Napster, experience the legal attacks like Vonage, and result in the companies jacking broadband rates up (probably way up) to make the "free" widespread internet access impractical for a possible cell phone replacement.

Bottom line: as a government initiative (even with government bureaucracy and pork barrel spending), it wouldn't be that costly to do wimax for the whole USA, giving free internet and free communications for all. While it is easy to argue that both of those becoming free would be an enormous boon to all businesses that are fueled by communications (which is just about all businesses), let's see how long it takes for that to actually happen. Probably right after FON-like concepts actually become widespread.

elgruga
Oct 30, 2007, 10:07 PM
FON is a joke, and a borderline scam, BUT - if Apple got involved, it just might work.

Apple would sort out the mapping problem (there is no effective map of WiFi hotspots) by some Google maps hack maybe.....also, it would work for the iPhone, whereas now they are trying to make it work for laptops, which is silly - imagine sitting on a garden wall, trying to connect in the rain, in some out of the way suburb, laptop in hand, shady characters strolling towards you....

But with the iPhone and clever mapping - that makes a little more sense.

FON = crap.

FON with Apple in control = might have something.

As for the notion of Cellular co.'s stopping it - just how would they do that? Once you have paid for your access at home, its yours to do what you wish with it.
I doubt that skype phones will ever do well, but we are talking wifi access for the iPhone - check Google maps, check email quickly, etc. Its NOT heavy usage, and would take a TINY fraction of the bandwidth available.

Stella
Oct 30, 2007, 10:13 PM
I'm surprised there aren't cries from the american audience of "Communism".

Seriously.

elgruga
Oct 30, 2007, 10:32 PM
I'm surprised there aren't cries from the american audience of "Communism".

Seriously.

Instead of governments screwing up Marx's Utopian vision, now big Corporations are going to screw up Marx's Utopian vision!
Should be fun to watch.

Its the new 'monetized' communism - everyone gives a little bit of cash according to their needs and abilities, and Apple gets really rich!

t.cavada
Oct 31, 2007, 07:37 AM
I wish there was some way to tell where Wi-Fi hotspots were located.

There doesn't seem to be any reliable mapping system or register or anything really. A few websites that aren't complete.

You kind of have to walk around like Mr. Magoo, hoping to run into a hotspot.
Hi Jetson,

I work for FON in Madrid. We have developed our own FON Maps based on Google Maps. The maps display updated information on FON hotspots and their activity all around the world. We have more than 200,000 hotspots worldwide. Take a look at maps.fon.com.

We have also a Connection Manager for Nokia phones. The tool allows Nokia users to connect automatically to the nearest FON Spot it detects.

And there is more, we have also a Points of Interest service (POIs). This allows you to download FON Spots directly to your navigation device.

Also for more information on FON check out What's FON.(http://www.fon.com/en/info/whatsFon)

Seems an interesting way of getting widespread wifi access. I keep reading about towns/villages/cities trying to do it and failing miserably.

At FON, we have already succeed offering WiFi coverage in cities and neighborhoods. The poject ChuecaWiFi (www.chuecawifi.com) in Madrid’s hip Chueca neighborhood where we now have almost 90% FON WiFi coverage, the response on the street has been tremendous and people are connecting literally everywhere throughout Chueca.

The City of Geneva and FON have recently announced a joint project [http://www.geneve-fon.org/] to provide free WiFi access to the city’s residents and visitors.

Other neighborhood projects are following suit to replicate the Chueca experience: Munich (www.glockenbachviertel.com), Rome with Trastevere WiFi, Paris’ Quartier Numerique, San Francisco, Tokyo, Taipei, and Hong Kong. By the end of the year, we’re looking to offer great FON WiFi coverage within these areas

Does anyone know the nitty gritty details of how it works?

Joining FON is very simple. You just need to connect the La Fonera, our WiFi router, and enjoy FREE WiFi everywhere.

We have designed the La Fonera to allow our members to share safely their Internet Connection with other FON Members. It creates two different WiFi signals. One for you and the other to be used by other Foneros.

FON is a joke, and a borderline scam, BUT - if Apple got involved, it just might work.

Apple would sort out the mapping problem (there is no effective map of WiFi hotspots) by some Google maps hack maybe.....also, it would work for the iPhone, whereas now they are trying to make it work for laptops, which is silly - imagine sitting on a garden wall, trying to connect in the rain, in some out of the way suburb, laptop in hand, shady characters strolling towards you....

But with the iPhone and clever mapping - that makes a little more sense.

FON = crap.

FON with Apple in control = might have something.

As for the notion of Cellular co.'s stopping it - just how would they do that? Once you have paid for your access at home, its yours to do what you wish with it.
I doubt that skype phones will ever do well, but we are talking wifi access for the iPhone - check Google maps, check email quickly, etc. Its NOT heavy usage, and would take a TINY fraction of the bandwidth available.

Sound weird you compare FON with crap, when telecom giants such British Telecom (BT), leading UK ISP, Neuf leading ISP in France, Time Warner, have signed partnerships with FON. With BT we have already created a joint community www.btfon.com......

shamino
Oct 31, 2007, 10:51 AM
It seems like it wouldn't be free, right? At least not exactly. I think you're still paying for whatever YOUR service is, so the cable comps aren't really losing revenue, right?
Yes and no. Unless you lease a T1/T3, your network link is oversubscribed. For instance, the carrier may have 10 1.5M DSL customers share a single 1.5M T1 uplink. Typically, business customers are provisioned at 4:1 oversubscription. Residential customers are often oversubscribed at 10:1 or even 20:1. (This is one big reason why business DSL costs more than residential.)

The oversubscription works because a typical connection is idle most of the time, but when everybody tries to use the network at once, you get congestion and reduced throughput.

When a residential customer makes his connection available to the world at large, chances are that his usage will go up, impacting other customers' throughput. Yes, you're paying for your line, but there is an assumption that you won't be using all of the bandwidth all of the time. (This is also why residential customers usually have a "no servers" policy.)

The reciprocal nature of FON doesn't change anything. Sure, you're getting from others what you give out (assuming you travel a lot), but you're not necessarily getting from the same carrier. The numbers don't have to balance out for a single ISP. And this reciprocity doesn't do a thing about oversubscription issue.
And of course Jobs would be up for it - wifi everywhere is so much easier and faster than 3G!
Not necessarily. A 3G interface goes straight to your carrier at full speed. Wi-Fi is throttled to the speed of the network it's attached to. My Wi-Fi router at home is attached to a 1.5M DSL line. A 3G connection can easily be faster than this (and I personally witnessed this using a Sprint PCMCIA card.)

CommIT
Nov 9, 2007, 09:00 AM
I'm all for sharing my wifi, but with what "community" will it be shared? Only people I know? Or, just anyone who comes along and signed up on some website? Hmm..

I came across an interesting article here about sharing WiFi with your Facebook friends (http://coova.org/wordpress/index.php/2007/10/30/facebook-a-social-wifi-utility/)... that's an interesting idea...

And from what I gather, FON even uses some open-source software from Coova too...

iansilv
Dec 6, 2007, 01:22 AM
Will FON have an application in the iphone sdk that automatically logs you in to the hotspots instead of forcing you to input it to the website with each fon hotspot you come across?

MacsAttack
Jan 13, 2008, 02:46 PM
Wonder if this has anything to do with "Something in the Air"?

timish
Jan 14, 2008, 03:23 PM
Yes it most certainly does.

Everyone will see the results of this collaboration tomorrow during the keynote.

T