Bills, we owe you, I know. Like we said many times in the past, the WiFi revolution needs both the socialists (the Linuses) and the “free marketeers” (the Bills). For now, perhaps unfairly, only Linuses can use FON. But what I can say to the Bills (who are waiting to set up their router and place their antena where they can catch lots of Aliens ready to pay for a connection) is that we are working very hard to set up a secure system for the Bill option to operate smoothly and safely.
Luckily, we’re not the ones who invented the idea of having a hotspots and charging users of these hotspots. Spain has 1000 charging hotspots and Europe has more than 25,000, so there are systems already tried and tested that we’re adapting. But “For when?” you ask. January 15th seems to be a reasonable date. Today, if you are a Bill you can install the firmware and sign up as a Bill as soon the Bill option is ready.
Now, who should be a Bill? If you own a bar, a restaurant, a hotel, a pharmacy, a laundro-mat, a newspaper kiosk, or if you live in a place where lots of tourists pass by, then you should be a Bill. We’re currently testing directional WiFi antenas that increase your WiFi coverage (perfect for parks!) and we’re also in talks with super Bills. Super Bills are entrepreneurs who want to invest in routers and place them in public places and then share their revenue with FON and the owners of these public places, so that the latter don’t have to buy routers themselves.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars