Another dumb FON initative
As an Ex Fonero, it's just another example where FON are claiming publicity and the users pick up the bill.
When I joined FON it was simple, you used my hotspot, I used yours. Simple, easy and you didn't mind losing a bit of bandwidth now and again as you should pick it up when out.
It changed with the BTFon deal. BT paid FON money to co-brand it . BTFon lets anyone with BT broadband and a HomeHub can opt into the scheme. Thats fine, same as before. However if you don't have a HomeHub because they were only available to the option 3 customers for free for a long time and most other people bought a netgear/linksys/dlink box as they were cheaper, then that's fine too in BTFON land, they'll let you roam and when you get a homehub you'll be opted in.
Thats blatently onesided, it means anyone on BT broadband gets to use my Wifi but I can't share there's as the FON firmware won't work on anything other than specific routers, so the average netgear/linksys/dlink box just won't let you in. Oh and it won't work on BT Openzone, only the HomeHub places, so places like motorway services / airports etc where it may be useful won't work, as they are "premium hotspots". BT users can (and always have been able to) use Openzone as part of the BT contract, standard FON users get a payment screen. Hardly fair to people who signed up to share there broadband in exchange for something back.
And let's not forget as part of the BTFon Deal you can't buy cheap FON routers anymore if you have a UK address, the BT contract allegedly states they can't be discounted in the UK, and they cost £30, they also cost $30 or €30 elsewhere. Not a bad exchange rate for FON or BT.
This idea is the same. If I did this I'd pay for a FON Femto Cell, and the services (broadband connection and Power) and get very little back.
FON needs to re-think it's business model, or rather think if it has a viable one now.
Wifi is becoming free to all, it's free in most McD's now and many hotels, restaurants,pubs (Wetherspoons chain offer free wifi) and coffee shops offer it to get customers in, no-one is going to pay when they can use a free connection and sit in comfort with a coffee or a beer. Free Wifi is just another marketing tool to get people through the doors.
So what did I do? reflashed the router and gave up being a member. FON WAS a good idea, unfortunatly the money for getting in bed with the big boys has means the little guy has been left out, and most have walked away, Fon see one less fon spot on the map. But heck the check from BT cleared so no loss overall. But then it is, less people are offering the connection, so less chance of using it, so less reason to sign up. It's not Wifi Everywhere as they say, it's wifi in back streets and housing estates, I've never once had a signal in a town centre where it might actually be useful.
Sorry but FON is a dead horse. Wifi is becoming free in many places as people expect it as a service, places it's not free are usually areas (like airports and hotels) where companies pick up the cost, elsewhere people fall back on mobile data, (3g, GRPS) it's not ideal but already paid for in your phone contract or Dongle bungle, so why pay again?