When we started FON, USA was our number one country, but it soon fell behind other countries, as far back as to position number 6 in the world, after Germany, Spain, Korea, Japan and France.

For a while we did not seem to find the right management, nor strategy. But recently, thanks to the great job of our new US management team headed by our US CEO Joanna Rees, a proven entrepreneur involved with many companies, probably the most relevant being Danger, and Faisal Galaria, our head of US biz dev, formerly at Skype, USA is back at position numero uno with around 40K registered FONeros and around 20K Foneras ordered.

In March, we expect to be able to report that FON is the largest WiFi network in the States by number of locations. Congratulations Joanna and Faisal, u rule!!!

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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William on February 13, 2007  · 


Fos has 20,000 routers that were mostly given away free (= no value) out of posts in blogs. Blogs are powerful indeed, but anybody could have done that better than these people running FON in the US. In the meantime, there isn’t a single ISP that allows FON in the US and Canada. If there is, please let us know.

Also, when going through the process of ordering a free router do you have stats as to how many people backtrack at the last step when they see the terms they have to accept? I cannot accept that FON will publish my address in public. Most people that I know are the same.

FON would have a lot more success if it changed its ways, and tell us which ISPs we can use. Get a deal with them please. Bullying them will not work.

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Martin Varsavsky on February 14, 2007  · 


I already answered this question so many times that I think I should have a FAQ in my blog about it. As I said in the past not a single ISP has opposed FON and many work with us because FON reduces churn and it makes it easier for ISPs to sell more broadband connections at no cost to them.

And our global strategy is to give out Foneras until we reach FONero densities of 1/10K and then we sell them. People who are the first FONeros demand a free fonera, the others when they see the network up and running don´t anymore and pay for them.

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Paul on February 14, 2007  · 

It’s interesting to watch your community grow from the UK and I’m delighted to see that Fon is taking off in the US.
However your marketing is decidedly low key/non-existent over here – what are you doing to gear this up here and in other areas and do you have a strategy to build on Fon into other areas/products for the future?
I accept that this is early days but how much revenue are you/do you expect to receive fron Bills & Aliens?
Do you / are you changing strategy in response to your community?
Best wishes

3.0 rating

euronerd on February 15, 2007  · 

The question William asked was to give the names of ISP’s that explicitly allow FON on their networks. Resell of capacity.
Your answer (answered this question so many times) (not a single ISP has opposed FON) is without content.
However, your thought to publish FAQ, is a good one.
Please publish on your FON website all ISP’s that explicitly allow FON.
That is what William (and a lot of others) are looking for, before they join you.

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Martin Varsavsky on February 15, 2007  · 


Most ISPs around the world have by now studied Fon carefully. We are now the largest or second largest wifi network in most OECD countries. Indeed Fon has met with most of them and explained to them how Fon increases broadband uptake in neighborhoods, decreases churn and does not compete for monthly service. If an ISP opposed what Fon is doing they would first contact Fon. Fon explained to all ISPs that if they would like to declare themselves against Fon they can do so and we will let everyone know that if they belong to such and such ISP they should change ISPs if they want to be foneros. But no ISP anywhere in the world, and we must have contacted over 50, has said that they don´t allow Fon or asked us to say in our web site that they don´t allow Fon. At the same time no ISP in the world has bothered to change their contracts to specifically say they allow Fon, even those who comarket with us have not changed their contracts. I built three ISPs, http://www.ya.com, http://www.jazztel.com and http://www.viatel.com and in doing so I learned that ISPs oppose practices that are bad for them and encourage those that are good for them and in this case Fon makes them compete with 3G and they like that. Especially when 3G companies like Orange in the Uk say they give you ADSL for free if you get their mobile service.

3.0 rating

Dan on February 15, 2007  · 

That’s like “negative option” Martin. My ISP explicity forbids sharing, and its the same with ALL that I have checked. Also, aren’t there ISPs shutting down clients with FON routers?

BTW, mosts ISPs are big companies and also offer vo/ip and cellular services so FON would be competing agains them too. Please just one big ISP that allows it in North America.

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on February 16, 2007  · 


I can assure you that all ISPs in America know what we are doing, that we have met with them, and that they understand that FON helps them sell more broadband and churn less. I can also assure you that no ISP in the world has declared itself anti fon. But Dan, if this makes u anxious pls wait and only join FON when carriers change their terms of service.

3.0 rating

euronerd on February 16, 2007  · 

You seem to be very sure of your case here.

Are you willing to guarantee, by inclusion in the TOC’s, that FON will compensate any action by any ISP , for any Fonero that violates the ISP’s contract by connecting a Fonera ?
And if you do so, explicitly state how you will compensate clients that are shut down by their ISP’s because of FON connection?

I am sure you will not give such guarantee. Proof me wrong and add such guarantee to the contracts. !!

3.0 rating

euronerd on February 16, 2007  · 

One other thing.
You write:”no ISP anywhere in the world, and we must have contacted over 50″
I only had a short look on Internet, and as example took Germany.
Now, which of the next German ISP’s did you miss ?

* [netclusive]
* 1 & 1
* 1click2dsl
* 1net4you
* 1netbyCall
* 4DSL
* Aalencity
* AC11
* ACN GmbH
* ad-source
* AliceDSL
* Arcor
* ASTRAnet
* AugustaKom
* Avego
* BITel
* BreisNet
* broadnet mediascape
* bycallnet
* Call2Surf
* CallandoNET
* Callero
* Callway
* carpo
* Citynet
* cityweb network
* Compuserve
* Congster
* Cyberfun
* debitel
* DSL Highway
* dslbycall
* dslflat.de
* DUS.net
* Easynet
* envia.tel
* eXpressNet
* Faventia
* Filiago
* Fireline Networks
* Flashnet
* formativ
* Foxtello
* freenet
* Gelsen-Net
* Global Village
* googolgate
* Greatnet
* HeiMedia
* HFO Telecom
* Host Europe
* htp
* JustDSL
* KielNET
* Lidl
* Ligado
* Lycos
* M-net
* M-Net / NEFkom
* MagicSpeed.de
* Mandala
* manitu
* meOme
* NetCologne
* Nethinks
* Nordcom
* One2surf
* Osnatel
* Pepphone
* Planet DSL
* Portunity
* ProNet
* Red55
* RegioDSL
* Ruhrnet
* Sat_Speed+
* SDTelecom
* SkyDSL
* Snafu
* SOS Computerservice-Thater
* speed4surf
* Stadtwerke Lübeck
* StarDSL
* surf-monster.de
* Surf100
* Surf2max
* surfSAT
* SynCity
* T-Com (Deutsche Telekom)
* T-Link
* T-Online
* TAL.de
* Telebinder
* Teleos
* Tiscali GmbH
* VendoDSL
* Versatel
* Vodafone
* VR-Web
* za-internet GmbH
* Zaunlink

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