Wireless Community Movement Creates a P2P Network: FON

Our goal is to create a unified WiFi Network allowing members of the FON community to share not just bandwidth but experience and ideas.

By Michel Bauwens

Salvino Salvaggio writes us:

“just a few words to inform you of this wonderful project : the FON Project. This is a great example of community sharing of individual resources. The FON Project propose their members to share their broadband connection by making it a free wifi hot-spot. In other words, if you have a broadband connection at home, it will take you about 65 US$ to buy a FON compliant wireless router (it won’t cost you anything if you already have at home a wireless router compliant with the FON software), then you configure it the way it is required by FON (all details on the web site), you register with FON. Every FON user who comes around can then access the Net through the FON wifi hotspot, and of course you, as a FON member, you can access for free all the FON wifi hotspots worldwide for free. I warmly suggest you to have a look at this site and circulate the info as much as possible. This is just a great idea but, as usual with networks, the more people register the more the network becomes appealing to new subscribers !”
From their website:


FON is a revolution. Our goal is to create a unified WiFi Network allowing members of the FON community to share not just bandwidth but experience and ideas.

“People who are interested in sharing excess bandwidth at home or work and obtaining bandwidth elsewhere have found in FON the right free wifi roaming platform and are downloading our software. But is FON doable? How many broadband connections do we need for FON to provide reliable wifi signal around the world? Surprisingly not that many. Nowadays the largest hotspot networks, T Mobile, Boingo, The Cloud, Orange, Vodafone, have fewer than 20,000 hotspots each. FON just launched and we have had over 1000 downloads in a week. That is 5% of the largest wifi hotspot networks. Skype to give an example of a much more established platform has around 150,000 downloads per day for a total so far of 200 million according to their site. But while FON is more complicated than Skype to download many less foneros are needed for FON to give a great wifi experience than skyperos to give Skype a great user experience. For Skype to succeed millions of people need to be on Skype. But one fonero can give coverage to half a city block and that is equivalent to thousands of people who live or pass by. Our estimates are that 1 million foneros around the world or around 1% of the people would be enough to give a global wifi signal. An ambitious but reachable goal.”

This post was previously published on p2pfoundation.net and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.


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