Google and Skype invest in community WiFi

By Derek Sooman on February 6, 2006, 3:06 PM
New Internet access network Fon has secured 18 million euros in initial financing from Skype and Google, and venture capital firms Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital. This system works by users pooling available bandwidth, to enable free WiFi roaming - broadband wireless Internet everywhere. Aiming to achieve what 3G or EVDO cannot, Fon is of great interest to companies like Skype and Google.

The man behind Fon, Martin Varsavsky - the founder of the Spanish portal ya.com and the Spanish telco Jazztel - describes it as 'a global community of people who share WiFi connections'.




User Comments: 5

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nathanskywalker said:
[quote]18 million euros in initial financing from Skype,[/quote]Hey, pay me 18,000 euros and i'll beat skype and google compbined ;)...ok, yeah right. So i take it google and skype have every confidence in these people? At least, that paycheck says so. Well if google says the lights are green, i think there is a good chance this thing will fly.
cookiedude said:
Any kind of free wi-fi is good news to me, as long as its secure! I read that Chicago is testing city wide free wi-fi, if it takes off we may see such systems spreading further than just Chicago.
AeonXX said:
It looks like Google took a look at their infrastructure and asked, ďnow how can we sell this?Ē Itís a great idea though, since a lot of people are casual users, the bandwidth should balance out nicely. Initially, I donít expect it to be very popular with typical users, but it will likely pick up in popularity fast. Itís a great idea, I hope it catches on.
need_a_dell said:
This most certainly sounds like a good idea, but cookiedude brought up an interesting point. If this free wi-fi isn't secure, than it could turn into a nightmare for everybody who uses it. (Not to mention Google and Skype!) It would be incredibly easy for a hacker to manipulate a network that everyone is connected to. People should be pretty careful when connecting to this once it goes up.
otmakus said:
This kind of free bandwidth sharing is only effective in an area with cheap broadband connection, like in big cities in developed countries, with strong infrastructure. The rest of us will never see free wi-fi internet in the near future.
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