Lot's of news about FON getting funding, even more so given that Google is part of the syndicate. Paul emailed me this morning, saying:
"With Skype and Google, this could really get traction. I've been following FON for a while and thought it was interesting but risky, now with Google and Skype, I think ubiquitous WiFi could be possible."I responded back that I think the issues are less technical in nature, more regulatory in nature with the trend in increasing federal, state and local regulations with regard to wireless network operation and access. And there are international public spectrum regulations as well.
The other factor that must have been considered is how the telco oligopoly in the U.S. threatens innovation, development and deployment of technologies like this. Over the last couple of decades we, consumers, have benefited from the telcos still thinking they were in the voice communication over landline or cellular business. As a result technologies like Wifi were able to develop without the telcos boots on it's neck, but going forward it would appear that the executive suites in every major telco in the U.S. have figured out that they are competing not against each other but innovation itself. Ironically, the one area where regulation should be helping consumers, the 1996 Telecommunications Act, has really been a failure because nobody is enforcing the spirit of the law.
Lastly, there is one technical issue that I am curious about and that is how the public spectrum scales in the mass market with deployment of something like FON.
Technorati Tags: FON, wifi, public+spectrum