Sunday, May 25, 2008

Spanish entrepreneur develops new wireless paradigm with his company, FON

There has been a lot of talk about the lumpiness of Wi-Fi service, about security problems and reliability. An entrepreneur from Argentina and now living an modern splendor in Madrid, Spain, Martin Varsavsky, has started a company in Spain called FON (or Foneros), which, on the surface, echoes a concept known from P2P computing and Bit-Torrent. The concept is that consumers share and trade wireless access capacity with others under some sort of automatically monitored but voluntary contract agreement, a totally “libertarian” concept. Varsavsjy says that the concept combines the best of both worlds, WiMax and L.T.E. (or “Long Term Evolution”) Varsavsky says that he offers a bottom up development that adds generativity and neutrality to the growth of the Internet, issues raised in a recent book by Jeffrey Zittrain (discussed on my books blog in April 2008).

The hope is that such a development would add security, stability and availability for wireless access to personal and business travelers and to people who live in less populated areas. It might make some companies more willing to allow home workers to depend on wireless access in the future, a capability that is resisted now because of security and stability concerns.

The story is by John Markoff, “Global Dreams for a Wireless World,” from Menorca, Spain, in The New York Times Business section today, link here.

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