','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: 2007.02


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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Access: Villaraigosa announces plan for citywide Wi-Fi by 2009

"Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa outlined plans Tuesday to blanket Los Angeles with wireless Internet access in 2009, in what would be one of the nation's largest urban Wi-Fi networks.

"The L.A. Wi-Fi initiative would give Los Angeles residents, schools, businesses and visitors uninterrupted high-speed Internet connections — for work, research, Web browsing or even phone calls.

"More than 300 municipalities nationwide already have launched plans for similar networks based on the Wi-Fi technology that has become popular at coffee shops, bookstores, public parks and countless other so-called hot spots...

"The city's existing commercial broadband providers — AT&T Inc., Time Warner Cable and Verizon Communications Inc. — aren't planning to oppose the city's efforts. Verizon, which once joined cable giant Comcast Corp. to try to curtail Philadelphia's wireless project, no longer stands in the way of municipalities."

The rest of the story: L.A.Times

Connectivity headed for the nation's 4th largest town, too:
City Wi-Fi coming, but will it be worth what you'll pay? (Houston Chronicle)

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