FON Sharing Wi-Fi With Time Warner

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A deal between Time Warner Cable (TWC) and FON will allow TWC customers to share Wi-Fi connections with other FON users.

The idea is to share one’s broadband connection wirelessly, and in turn have free Wi-Fi access from other FON-enabled connections anywhere they can be found.

An AP report noted what Om Malik told people three weeks ago: FON and TWC would make a deal that most ISPs have avoided.

Through the use of a FON router, TWC customers can open their wireless connections to other FON members (called Foneros) and to non-FON members. Those non-Foneras pay a $3 charge for a Day Pass to use a FON connection.

It’s expected that FON and TWC will split the non-member fees paid for access to broadband service. The deal is limited to residential broadband connections, and that would seem to restrict any broader appeal it could reach in places like airports and hotels.

Starbucks in particular has had a deal in place with wireless service provider T-Mobile to offer Wi-Fi for a daily $9.95 charge. The coffee chain operates about 8,000 stores in the US alone, some of them within airports and upscale metro hotel properties.

FON charges about $40 for its router, and is likely the company’s main revenue generator. Details about the deal have not been announced, so how TWC will make money on this is not known yet.

There is one aspect to FON that may have been missed in the announcement. FON has Google and Skype as backers, and FON has previously promised, but not delivered a Skype handset that will work with any FON access point.

The delays in making the Skype handset available make us wonder if the much-rumored Google phone could debut with FON connectivity. Since FON delivers Wi-Fi, a handset carrying Google’s software products and advertising would be a natural fit for it.

FON Sharing Wi-Fi With Time Warner
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