Santosh Menon, of Reuters writes in PC Pro about a tentative new Fon-BT hookup on the table.
BT would reflash their customer’s broadband wifi routers in order to provide Fon hotspots. BT customers will be able to use their dual wifi/GSM phones at these and any other Fon hotspots worldwide. BT customers will pay discount rates for their calls, and Linus/Bill hotspot hosts will get…. er, nothing whatsoever was mentioned.
Where, Oh Where, Have Our Little Routeros Gone?
Some really odd numbers are presented in the article:
BT Fusion users, who have mobile phones that can connect to a short-range wireless Wi-Fi network as well as the cell phone network, could use their phones on the home networks of around 250,000 global Fon members, which it calls ‘foneros’, 10,000 of them are already in Britain.
Now, we all know that after adding up the number of Fon hotspots indexed by maps.fon.com POI export, we get a bit over 50,000. Worldwide. This includes hotspots which have been inactive for months. This means that somehow, 200,000+ hotspots are being “strategically” omitted from the maps, even though they’ve left in thousands which have nonsense addresses. Exactly 200 Fon hotspots are apparently located at the North Pole. The maps only show 1,039 Foneros for the UK.
It could be argued that Menon misunderstood the number of registered Aliens + Linuses + Bills = total hotspots, but then we read the following statement, apparently written by Fon themselves, and we have to seriously ask for proof of these statistics:
Securely and fairly share you WiFi with the FON community, plus get your own private encrypted connection.. -In return connect for free to thousands of WiFi FONspots -over 100,000 around the world!
I’m doubting that Fon actually shipped out 100,000 Linksys and La Fonera routers, let alone a quarter of a million of them. And what’s this “securely and fairly” doublespeak about? Insecurity and unfair profitsharing terms are some of the biggest complaints about the Fon system. I predict that next, Fon will tout itself as hosting the largest, happiest social community on it’s boards.
Fon Swings…. Fon Misses. Fon Doesn’t Get To Play Anymore.
Today, Randall Stross writes in the New York Times about how Google (Fon’s erstwhile investor) is now investing in the Meraki Mini, by Meraki Networks, who has built a router that is virtually identical inside to Fon’s own La Fonera. Meraki has achieved router meshing, and provide remote management software for individual or groups of wifi routers. Incomplete meshing was included in earlier La Foneras, but has been subsequently removed. It had not required authentication, and was a vector for obtaining free internet connections.