Yes, at FON we know that many ISPs contracts don´t allow users to share WiFi. And I managed three ISPs, Viatel, Ya.com and Jazztel and used to offer similar contracts for users. The intention of these terms and conditions is for ISPs not to lose money with customers who don´t buy new connections. Now when FON started I made it very clear to all ISPs that FON was a big plus to ISPs and that is why so many are or are in the process of becoming our partners.

FON is advantageous to ISPs for four main reasons. FON stops the leeching between customers and non customers of broadband that occurs when customers install Linksys or Netgear routers which come open. At FON, only those who pay for broadband share for free.

Secondly, because with FON ISPs have more people interested in broadband (pay at home and roam the world at no extra cost). The ISP offer becomes more valuable at no extra cost to the ISP. Thirdly, because with FON ISPs have less churn (people continue to pay even when they are rarely at home not to lose roaming privileges). Lastly, because FON´s rates for Aliens (non donors of WiFi), while very cheap on a per day basis compared to other WiFi networks ($3 first day $2 thereafter), have been priced high enough so it is NOT convenient to leech on your neighbor every day and not sign up with an ISP.

So even though FON is active in over 100 countries now, we have not received any requests of any ISP or Telco to stop marketing our services to their customers. As I have said in the past, if we do we will immediately inform FONeros to make quick plans to change from that ISP to another one that allows FON. We don´t want anyone to violate terms and conditions that ISPs choose to enforce.

At the same time, at FON we have seen that no ISPs, even those who actively sell FON, have modified their terms and conditions. I guess that is partly because their legal departments move slowly, but also because in most cases they want those conditions to stay there for services that are not a benefit to them. Moreover, FON keeps data on who access FON. Should a judge or court order request that data, we would share it with the law and we can identify the source of illegal activity from a Fonera as not originating with the FONero.

It took us a great deal of time and effort to develop the two WiFi network system, in which Foneros use the “myplace” network at home and the FON networks when they roam. We also protect FONeros with a potent firewall from viruses and with a bandwidth throttle from bandwidth depletion.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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