As an experiment in Fon we have opened Gmail access in all foneras. We have done this for a while now but we are now promoting this feature. This means that regardless of whether you are a fonero or not (foneros are members of the Fon community who share WiFi) when you find a Fonspot you can check your Gmail. You can also check any Google service including search, maps, news, and so long as you stay inside Google you can surf for free. We are doing this for three reasons. One to thank Google as an investor in Fon. Secondly because at Fon we all use many Google services and so do millions of people around the world and we appreciate the quick access. Third and most important for Fon, because since we opened the 15 minute free access on all Fonspots we have seen that many more people use Fon and even if they are not WiFi donors (foneros) they pay for Fon (buy day passses as Aliens). There was a debate at Fon on whether if we gave free access we would sell more or less passes to Aliens but now the answer is clear. We sell more passes because Aliens now know the service works well before they pay.
We believe that Gmail users will love the fact that Fon lets them check their email without paying or donating. And we think that this will encourage people to become Foneros as most people who use gmail also do many other things, like go to Microsoft sites, or Yahoo, or big local portals like Terra, or Facebok and other social communities and all the other wonderful things that the net has to offer. To do that they will either have to become Foneros by buying a Fonera or buy an Alien day pass. In any way Fon will grow faster.
Fon is always free for those who share so those who share will not be affected. Fon also protects those who share in two ways, one is with a firewall and encrypted personal access so nobody from the outside can enter their network and secondly with a bandwidth throttle that limits those who use their fonera to a small portion of their bandwidth.
To become a Fonero all you need to do is buy a Fon router at our online shop, connect it and never pay again when you connect away from home. If you would like to know if there are any foneros in your city you can go to our maps.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars