Joho the BlogFon and Time-Warner up a tree... - Joho the Blog

Fon and Time-Warner up a tree…

Fon (Disclosure: I’m on the board of advisors and have stock options in the company) has just announced that it’s done a deal with Time-Warner. This is a big deal for Fon. And I hope it’s a step forward in providing low-cost wifi everywhere.

When you sign up for Fon, you get a wifi router from them that provides public and private access. Anyone who comes across the public signal can use it for $3/day ($2 for days after that). If you provide public access, you can use anyone else’s Fon public signal for free — free roaming. It’s a clever idea, but in the US the biggest stumbling block has been the fact that to offer public access, you have to violate most ISP’s terms and conditions. But now not Time-Warner’s. I assume also that T-W will be doing some marketing of Fon. (I also assume that Time-Warner gets a cut of the per-day fee for Fon users. As Martin Varsavsky, Fon’s founder, has been saying from the gitgo, Fon expands broadband use in ways that can benefit the broadband suppliers.)

I like open, free wifi. My own wifi router is un-WEPped. But I also like the incentive system Fon has in place to encourage people to provide public very low-cost wifi access. So, I like today’s news about the Time-Warner partnership. [Tags: ]

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