After having fought for years through Jazztel and to end Telefonica’s monopoly and to reach the so-called liberalization of telecommunications in Spain, it ends up that now with FON I have found another monopoly in which not even Telefonica has a chance: the Airports in Spain.

AENA, the agency that manages all airports in Spain, granted to itself the exclusive right to regulate all telecommunications in Spanish airports and also granted the monopoly rights to WiFi to unknown operators. In other words, these operators paid AENA for something that AENA does not have the authority to give. Thus, AENA prohibits FON from entering into agreements with stores in Spanish airports to have them install FON and offer free WiFi to FONeros and to charge non-FONeros only 2 to 3 EUR a day for WiFi (which is much cheaper than what users are now being charged while they wait for their flights).

In the US, airports tried to play the same game of monopoly, but the FCC stopped them in their tracks and adopted a decision on October 17th, permitting Continental Airlines to install and offer WiFi access in its airport lounge in Boston. This decision sets a precedent which breaks the monopoly rights that airports had previously been giving to operators. In the words of the FCC decision, Massport (the agency that manages Boston’s airport) “has no right to operate the WiFi backbone free from interference from other WiFi devices including Continental´s WiFi device …”

I believe that the Spanish communications regulator, the CMT, should step in and intervene with regards to Spanish airports, as did the FCC. It is the CMT, and not AENA, who is authorized by law to regulate telecommunications. WiFi everywhere! Be it offered openly or through FON. Let the stores and companies at the airports install the router of their choice. FON wants to put the La Foneras in the airports in Madrid, Barcelona, and the rest of Spain.

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Yffic De Smaele on November 10, 2006  · 

Hola Martin,

soy belga responsable del desarrollo internacional de mTactics (empresa madrileña).Soy Linus y viajo mucho. No estaria nada mal saber cuales son los hoteles que ofrecen servicios FON (Paris, Londres y Madrid en mi caso) o los hoteles que estanen el alcance de un Hotspot FON.
De todos modos, FON es una iniciativa extraordinaria !!!

“Félicitations” se dice en frances!!!

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Antoin O Lachtnain on November 10, 2006  · 

We have this problem here too, it’s the same everywhere. Legally, they do it by putting restrictions in the licence for the premises. They say ordinary shops can’t sell or give away wi-fi, in the same way a sweet shop at the airport might be forbidden from selling expensive clothing.

The underlying problem is that airports are basically designed to make money, not provide a service. They have bad processes and ridiculous security, so that you will come to the airport earlier and spend more time there. They design the building badly so that there are no seats and you have to walk around the shops or go into the cafes. They layout the shops in such a way that you have to walk past them all to get to your plane.

The airport ends up costing twice as much to build and run because so much space is needed to hold all the people waiting and all the shops.

The airport then recovers this money by selling monopoly franchises at the airports for ridiculous premiums. These premiums are then passed on to the traveller (who also has to pay quite a high airport fee for the privilege of walking through the building).

3.0 rating

Janet Bryce on December 25, 2006  · 

One way of challenging a telecom monopoly (in this case, Spain’s Telefonica) is to offer better services and lower prices. Another way – the one chosen by Jazztel – is to spend a lot of money on marketing while short changing consumers – the strategy taken by Jazztel.

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