','subtitle>',$line); echo $line; $line = "\n"; } else if (strstr($line, '','updated>',$line); } else if (strstr($line, '','published>',$line); } else if (strstr($line, ' Impractical Proposals <br> Santa Monica: New Media: FON challenging starbucks' wi-fi


New Media: FON challenging starbucks' wi-fi

"Listen up, Frappucino-lovers -- cheap Wi-Fi could be headed to a Starbucks FONnear you.

"...Madrid, Spain-based FON [has] launched a campaign called 'FonBucks,'...to hand out free wireless Internet routers (for which the company normally charges about $40) to people who live near Starbucks coffee shops...

"FON is one of the most interesting new entrants in the wireless industry, largely due to its unique model. Here's how the service works: For a small fee, ($2 per day), anyone can use a FON network when near a hotspot, but FON members... must purchase a wireless router and then choose to either give away the extra bandwidth for free, or charge for it...

"Of course, the success of the service relies on widespread growth...exactly what FON is hoping the FonBucks campaign — and more importantly, soon-to-launch strategic partnerships — will help achieve...

"If it sounds warm and fuzzy, it is and it isn't. Like Vonage and Skype, FON is a disruptive company in an industry that, like most others, doesn't like to be disrupted....[T]hey did run through 10,000 free Wi-Fi routers very quickly in a similar campaign they ran recently. After all, who doesn't like free Internet access? Or frothy Frappuccinos, for that matter."

The rest of the story: Third Screen.

[FON is available on Main Street, Santa Monica at Library Alehouse.]

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