Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fon, Fonera, Fonero

I've become more and more interested in this idea of free wifi access in cities and communities. The large city efforts to provide free wifi (San Francisco, etc.) have all stalled, but a couple startup companies have begun wireless efforts in a bottom-up fashion. The idea being that you share your internet connection where you live, and then when you go somewhere, others return the favor. Thinking of the internet a community asset, then everyone should have access wherever they roam.

I looked around a bit, and ended up signing up with Fon, and getting a "Fonera+" wireless router. Fon is a Spanish company that is growing in Europe ("we are HUGE in Europe!!"). They also have started an effort also to provide wireless access to the Castro District in San Francisco. The router sets up 2 wireless access points to your internet connection: a private one which is password secured, just like your normal wireless router, and then a public access point, which does not have a password and anyone can use.

The access points are completely separate, and you can decide how much bandwidth you wanna give to the general public, in case someone tries downloading entire movies and brings your network to a grinding halt. Most people are not using all their available bandwidth anyway, so if you share a little here and there, it doesn't impact your daily life.

So this is my little project lately. If anyone is interested, as a "Fonero" (the term for people signed up with Fon), I can give out gift certificate things so you can get a Fonera router for cheap. Lemme know and I will forward the invite.

a couple of pics of the fon equipment:

La Fonera+ & La Fontenna connected to network
Fon La Fonera+ router and La Fontenna. You don't have to get the big antenna (La Fontenna) pictured here, but it improves range.

La Fonera+ and La Fontenna box
Fon La Fonera+ router and La Fontenna

1 comment:

Kelly & Peter said...

la fontenna? really?