I first heard about Fon when Om Malik posted about it, then I read about it on TJ’s weblog, and then I read about it on TechDirt. Here’s my simple summary of Fon:
Fon is wifi access based on a peer-to-peer model. Essentially lots of users install FON software on their access points all over the place to create a continuous Fon network. The current deal is that you be a Linus user (you agree to purchase a Fon-enabled access point and share the connection you are already paying for with other Fon Linus members) — if you share your connection with other Fon users, then you can use all other Linus users’ access points. Future classifications of users are “Bills”, who charge Fon users for connecting, and “Aliens”, who don’t provide a Fon connection and simply pay for usage.
I don’t really see any access points in the US on the Fon Map and certainly not any around where I live. It’s certainly an interesting concept. I haven’t read my Comcast terms closely enough to see if I would be in violation if I were to be a “Bills” and charge for excess bandwidth on my home connection; my guess would be that I would be in violation, but I’m not sure.
Currently the FON software for the access points only seems to work on Linux-based routers at this point and the installation instructions are not so non-geek friendly.
It will be interesting to see what kind of traction this gets and how the world responds.