When we use WiFi, we are rich at home. We have our signal. We rule. When we leave home with our WiFi gadgets, we become WiFi beggars. “Please give me WiFi”, we ask as we look for signals we can use. But once you have FON you are not a WiFi beggar anymore. You pay at home and you take your signal through others. You roam the world for free and it is your right to do so, because you are allowing others to do the same at your home.
along the way.
But tonight, in London, as I was going back to my hotel from Janus Friis, my partner from Skype, birthday party, and saw many homeless, I was thinking that because they are homeless they could not play a role in the FON world. But then I realized that with the new Bluetooth FON that we will launch, we could help homeless people play a very useful role in the world of user generated infrastructure. FON will port the FON functionality to Bluetooth and we will put Bluetooth in our FON social routers. We will also put FON functionality in handsets such as Nokia N80. So here´s the idea for the homeless. When a Bluetooth phone (most of them now) meets a FON hotspot in the hands of a homeless person, it can connect through Bluetooth to WiFi and make Skype calls. In this way a person with a mobile phone goes from paying GSM rip off rates to paying Skype rates for mobile calls.
I know I am a dreamer, but I think that this project at FON could turn homeless people with battery powered Bluetooth FON hotspots into valuable parts of the FON network. Homeless people tend to go to high traffic areas when they beg. With FON they could render a service and stop begging. Something similar has been done for decades now with the homeless newspapers. Here two users would contribute a discretionary amount, but they will be experiencing significant savings.
Now, as it usually happens with my ideas, I have to see how to turn this one into reality and sort out the many obstacles we will find
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars