Maybe If We're Cheap Enough, No One Will Notice We're Breaking Everyone's Terms Of Service

from the now,-there's-a-strategy dept

We've never quite understood the strategy of the ridiculously hyped up "Fon". It's a pure gimmick with a ton of problems that are likely to block it from ever being successful. Basically, the company wants people to offer up their home WiFi for sharing as a network. There are different plans if you share your own home WiFi or offer it for a fee (and that, in turn, determines whether you get to use others' access points for free or for a fee). Among the many problems is the idea that you can actually get near ubiquitous coverage from just random home users. How many people are really going to jump on board? It's going to take an awful lot -- and even then the dead spots may be a problem. At the same time, with the "fee/free" alternatives, the business model makes almost no sense. If people share, they won't pay, and how many people actually pay for WiFi access these days? Fewer and fewer, especially as alternatives keep popping up. However, the biggest roadblock has always been the fact that most ISPs forbid any kind of sharing of their connection. While Fon keeps saying that it will convince ISPs otherwise, not many seem to be excited about this sort of thing. Yet, they keep pushing forward, and the latest is a plan to offer a heavily subsidized WiFi router for $5 to anyone who agrees to share their connection -- again, pretty much ignoring that almost no one is actually allowed to do so. Perhaps their strategy is to just throw away all the millions of dollars of VC money they've raised, and hope that as they're finally out of money, enough of these devices are out there that the ISPs really can't do anything about it and decide to cooperate. That seems like a stretch though, and it's surprising that some investors would bet over $20 million on such a risky strategy.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    DDC, 20 Sep 2006 @ 8:09am

    Not true

    "If something illegal is downloaded using your IP address (wireless router) then the burden of proof that you did not do it is upon you as the IP address owner. Equating you with your IP address is reasonable proof."

    Completely untrue. The fact that you rent some bandwidth is not even close to enough to even bring charges against you. The burden of proof still falls on the state to prove that you were the one using it and you committed the crime. The RIAA has been shut down numerous times with this exact same arguement, open wireless network means that they need to come up with a lot more information to get around that pesky reasonable doubt thing.

    " Now if you can proof that you were somewhere else when the illegal activity occurred with your IP address you might be able to get out of it. Good luck documenting every step of the day."

    Where do you come up with this stuff? No matter what you think in AMERICA the burden of proof is not on the defendant.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.