As they say: you get what you give.
You may or may not have heard of FON, but what it promotes is something rather different…
Finally launching in the UK after rolling out elsewhere in Europe, Asia and America, FON promotes the sharing of wireless router signals. No, it’s not mad – and it has a doctor’s letter to back that up.
Seriously, what the company does is sell a wireless router called ‘La Fonera+’ which divides the WiFi signal into two parts: one private and encrypted signal for your home network and the other which is available only to other FON members. Why would you want to do this? The answer lies in community.
No, we’re not talking about the peace-and-love kind of community, but the FON community. For sharing your WiFi signal you will be granted access to all other FON user’s WiFi signals creating a (potentially) vast landscape of instantly available hotspots on your travels.
Interestingly, FON also offers non-members the chance to access these hotspots on a pay-as-you-go basis and gives members 50 per cent of the net revenue it receives every time a non member pays for access to their particular FON spot – so it can be a money spinner too. Yup, it’s all starting to make sense…
FON already has 450,000 members around the world and the company reports it has also been adopted in cafes, restaurants, stations, airports and offices so take-up, which is the key to the success or failure of the project, does seem encouraging. A map of ‘FON Spots’ can also be accessed here.
A La Fonera+ router sets you back just €43 and while the community may not appeal to heavy bandwidth users, those looking to make their WiFi connection spread a lot farther could well be tempted…