Can FON create a worldwide, wireless Internet?

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Ready for worldwide, wireless Internet access? Keep dreaming!

You remember FON, right? There’s a small piece in the International Herald Tribune that tries to explain why the hippie-sounding service hasn’t taken off yet. Whereas, to be successful, FON needs millions of users spread around the world, each sharing their Internet connection wirelessly, so far only 830,000 people have signed up; only 340,000 hot spots are currently in operation. If not enough people run a hot spot, FON dies, as does the idea of free, worldwide wireless Internet access.

But wait! Not every worldwide wireless Internet scheme depends on the kindness of strangers. Let’s not forget WiMax and LTE, two technologies bandied about by the likes of Sprint and Altel. Unlike FON, depends upon people sharing their Internet connection, WiMax and LTE are corporate-controlled “pay-us-$n-per-month-and-you-can-tap-into-the-signal” entities. That type of oversight makes some business types comfortable, but annoys the FON guy, Martin Varavsky.

So yeah, enjoy your Memorial Day, my fellow Americans.

via Drudge Report

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