I’m sure you will agree this is nothing new but I’ve been intrigued by the FON Free WiFi service for quite some time, just never got round to sharing my thoughts.
With the recent horror stories about wireless mobile subscribers racking up thousands of dollars in mobile data charges I thought I’d finally blog a bit about FON.
Martin Varsavsky founded FON on February 2006 in Madrid, Spain. FON’s mission is to stimulate the growth of WiFi around the world by creating a global Community of “Foneros”. FON is the largest WiFi community and recently reached 1 million members this September.
FON’s goal is to provide Free WiFi access everywhere. To do this they had the idea that to receive you must first give — plant a small mustard seed and receive 10, 20 and 100 folds.
When I first heard about FON, the concept of opening my WiFi to public was a bit scary. For starters you’re asking for trouble because it involves sharing on an unencrypted channel, leaving you vulnerable to malicous attacks. However, I later discovered to share a connection with FON you need their Fonero router. This router has two APs built-in, one for personal use (encrypted via WPA) and the other open to public (unencrypted). It was instant buy-in for me after that.
The potential for FON is huge, especially in a small city like Hong Kong. WiFi mobility is a key step towards the evolution of the Internet. To move from stationary workstations to mobile on-the-go always-on access the public needs affordable, available and reliable access with good coverage. FON might just have the right sort of ecosystem to provide for Hong Kong.