Telecommunication Companies versus Peer-to-peer telecommunications

You think this is a joke???!!! Mesh is where you – at home or in your office – donate a tiny sliver of your broadband to the ether, to create a mesh around Sydney or San Francisco or whereever, so people can walk around with mobile devices or laptops and access the internet using wifi….

You think this is a joke???!!!

Mesh is where you – at home or in your office – donate a tiny sliver of your broadband to the ether, to create a mesh around Sydney or San Francisco or whereever, so people can walk around with mobile devices or laptops and access the internet using wifi. Until now, I’ve been wondering why people would do that. I mean, I get that they would – we donate a lot of time and energy to collaboration online, peer-to-peer support and content for free – but still, I thought it would be a bit of a stretch to convince people to do something offline like buy a piece of hardware to donate bandwidth to the community. Now I see why they would: free access themselves when away from home plus a reverse clip model – the community member gets a clip of the sale:

Introducing the BT FON Community, Wi-Fi everywhere in the U.K.

FON and BT have partnered to create the BT FON Community to cover the entire U.K. with hundreds of thousands of BT FON hotspots.

You already know who we are, the world’s largest Wi-Fi Community, and BT is one of the leading broadband providers in the world, and the birth of our BT FON Community means something uniquely special for broadband users in the U.K. and all over the world.

We have integrated FON in BT and now more than more than 3 million Total Broadband customers are invited to join the enormous global community of people sharing their WiFi.

The fact that a market leader like BT supports FON’s revolutionary model for a massive Wi-Fi community built for and by the people marks a bold step in the communications industry.

Every person in the UK who agrees to share a small portion of their home broadband connection will be able to share the connection of any other member. Anyone joining in will be able to use those FON hotspots across the world and all the new BT FON hotspots free of charge.

From the very beginning, all of you, Foneros, believed in the concept of sharing and in people’s ability to build something important that would benefit everyone. BT is one of the most important telcos and ISPs in the world, so with BT FON those beliefs have proved to be well-founded!

And of course, the best news for all your Foneros around the world is that you can connect to the new BT FON Community Wi-Fi hotspots for FREE!

Thanks to all of you, and welcome to the U.K.!

It get’s even better. Not only are you donating a bit of your bandwidth, and getting free access when you are out and about, but you get paid for non-Foneros access:

Foneros can also offer access to ‘non-Foneros’ and earn money. Every time a non-Fonero detects their WiFi signal and logs on FON charges then a fee and pays 50 percent of the net revenue to the owner of that access point. (IT Wire)

I’ve mentioned before that the business model of the future is sharing revenue with the network members. Very very powerful changes to enterprise are afoot. Plus, why pay exhorbitant download charges for 3G access when you can have free wifi by donating a sliver of home/office broadband?

Next time telemarketers call and ask you who your service provider is, tell them “my social network”, and they pay me well. Then ask the marketing company to switch to your network. That’ll fix their little red wagon. Heh.

(my presentation on telcos stupidlycreating high costs to access walled gardens social networks on mobile phone).

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  1. The model sounds similar to Solar Energy, where your excess is sold back the energy companies to foster the grid. Effectively you are paid to supply energy & become a provider too.

    if I’ve completely got this wrong, cos just had nice bottle of pinot & avoiding talking to family by reading blogs, then delete or gently point out my idiocy. cheers, *hic*

  2. How’s the head this morning, poppet?

    The model is similiar – consumer becomes prosumer – although perhaps not quite transparent enough for pure web 2.0 attribution.

    What web 2.0 does, is allow granular information. WHO is walking past the house and using the internet? WHICH house is supplying the connection?

    My observation is that Web 1.0 was about transactions between Host and Member. One-to one transactions and one-to- many communications.

    Web 2.0 is the host enabling communication/transactions between members, building trust and reputation between the customers who are also suppliers. Few-to-few or many-to-many communications.

  3. Hi Laurel,
    Catching up on my back reading since being offline with the move last week and came across your FON post.

    3 points to make;
    1/ Time Warner here in New York also has the same partnership with FON.

    2/ In Australia there are already very strong community wifi networks already in place in both Sydney and Melbourne; start at Duanes nodedb site for more

    3/ Although the telephony model wont support it in Australia you should also check out Ooma that launched here in the USA.

    The basic concept is I plug an Ooma box into my router and connect it to my local phone line.

    When you in LA want to make a call from LA to NY, it uses the internet to find my box and then makes an uncharged local call to the NY number you dialed.

    Yes it’s costing me bandwidth but because local calls in the USA are zero tarrifed it doesn’t cost me for you to make that call.
    (you can see why this wouldn’t work in Australia)

    The great part about it is through the peer to peer nature I should eventually be able to make free calls to any city in the USA.

    Will be interesting to see if it survives or not – I have a bet outstanding there with one of the leading voip industry consultants you can read about here

    Dean Collins

  4. Oh I wouldn’t call them strong – more like dead – read more on sydneywireless. There was another one called EasternSuburbs that I googled but they seemed hard to find out about, too.

    We need you here, back from NY to get us up and running. 🙂

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