Shared Community WiFi Networking Blog From A Toronto Co-op ISP

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Another WiFi Sharing System from Spain

Michael writes:

"You guys should check this out."

Basically, Whisher (as its called) is an interesting new system for people to share their WiFi connections at home -- quite a bit like FON, but maybe a little bit more open and less profit-driven.

Gotta wonder how well it will work, though, if they don't actually control their Internet connections -- I read the story, and the guy thye interviewed had some media spin story about how "it depends if you believe users control their connections or Internet providers control their connections"...

I'm kind of inclined to believe that whoever owns the Internet connection is who controls that connection, at least in practice most of the time. "Whisher" will face the same problem FON does -- most ISPs have no interest in giving any control over their lines or customers to anyone else. In the end, that's all they've got, and that's how they plan to make their money -- why would they give it away?

Quite explicitly, most Internet service providers prohibit connection sharing in their user agreements, and don't hesitate to shut people down if they feel that something a user is doing threatens their revenue stream.

In contrast, Wireless Nomad is set up to actually own its Internet connections, not just the WiFi LAN side of things. Of course, we're lucky here in Canada that the CRTC makes this possible, unlike in the United States, where independent ISPs were basically erased at the stroke of a pen a couple of years ago.

Thanks, Michael!



Blogger Ferran said...

So are you telling me that I cannot let my brother or any of my colleagues tap into my WiFi...kind of weird, to be honest.

Whisher's idea is NOT to compete against ISPs...let's be realistic, if you want a connection at home you're better off ordering one than having to rely on your neighbour's.


PS: I know, that memorable sentece about ISPs not ruling the Internet will last for quite a while :-)

3:53 a.m., February 01, 2007

Blogger Damien said...

I'm not saying it... Its the TOS contracts that people sign with ISPs that says it.

ISPs own lines, rent them to people, and set the terms of that rental, especially when there is little real competition, or money to be made by restricting usage and/or limiting access.

We're trying to make WN different... and while Whisher isn't competing with ISPs, they're trying to get some of the value from ISPs into the hands of themselves/users. That will be tough, and not likely a battle that can be won that way.

1:33 p.m., February 01, 2007


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