back to article Fon VoIP network being disrupted by protest over Wi-Fi adverts

Why are people "moving" their FON routers into the lake? It's because of a clever idea - or so it seemed: let people "earn" 15 minutes of free Internet time on the FON Wi-Fi network by watching adverts. A FON user, Claudi, kicked off the protest on the FON discussion boards: I just realized that fon allows 15 minutes of free …

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Nice idea for a protest

But I bet there's some poor bugger in a boat in the middle of that lake, wondering why he still can't get a connection!

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I gave up on Foneristadom

I signed up with Fon about a year ago. I paid my $13 and received my router. I found out that I couldn't use it with my DSL connection. I wasted about a day of putzing around with it. Eventually after perusing the less than perfectly forms, I found out that it was a a known problem that I was encountering. I don't remember, and don't care to remember the particulars. It might have been something about the way my ISP handles DSL.

The end result? I flashed the Router. It's now a stock Linksys router.

And just to make it all the sillier? I live in a rural area. Nobody, but nobody but me is going to use this router anyway.

It would be useful to find out how many people had experiences similar to mine. I wager a fair number of people got pissed off & flashed the router. It could make for some embarrassing information for the company.

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A couple of corrections

Fon isn't actually a VOIP company, though they started out planning to be one. They have a loose partnership with Skype, but at this point, they're essentially just a seller of rebranded routers (La Fonera) and antennas (La Fontenna).

While the protest is indeed about how poorly the security of the "free 15 minutes" promotion was thought out, it should also be noted that we Foneros were left completely out of the decision-making process for it. We learned of it just before it was launched, and promises to have an "opt-out" have not been fulfilled.

In summary, we feel that Fon typically does what it wants despite the protests of it's members, who are suppressed when they don't tow the line as desired.

El Reg missed another Fon story this week, where Foneros were spelling out messages on Fon's hotspot map using the icons that show the home addresses of the members. Fon would not make these "opt-out" for privacy's sake, so we learned how to simply move them to neutral places. Fon acted quickly, for once, to eliminate this whole class of icons, after i posted a screen print in my El Fon Blog.

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