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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,975
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AppleInsider reports that Steve Jobs recently met with Martin Varsavsky about FON, 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
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,397
12,514
Seems an interesting way of getting widespread wifi access. I keep reading about towns/villages/cities trying to do it and failing miserably.
 

Jetson

macrumors 6502a
Oct 5, 2003
585
40
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.
 

hunterjoules

macrumors member
Jan 2, 2007
47
0
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.
 

john789

macrumors member
Jan 25, 2007
63
0
Portland, OR
excellent!!

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

macrumors 68000
Jun 20, 2007
1,993
1
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.
 
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.
 

IlluminatedSage

macrumors 68000
Aug 1, 2000
1,516
230
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

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2006
207
38
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

macrumors 6502
Apr 23, 2006
397
0
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

macrumors 65816
May 28, 2007
1,218
7
Northern NJ
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

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,902
739
Redondo Beach, California
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

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2003
102
0
Copenhagen
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

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2007
975
1,808
Brisbane, Australia
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 :)
 
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