Madrid-based Fon, a company that tries to propagate Wi-Fi by sharing access within a community, is taking on two local companies: Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA and Seattle's Starbucks.
It is now advertising a new gimmick called Fonbucks. The tagline: "where FON + Starbucks = cash for you."
Here's the deal. If you live close to a Starbucks, they'll send you a free wireless router. When you install the router, you'll provide users wireless access for a daily fee, but at a huge discount to what Starbucks charges (Of course, it is not actually Starbucks, but T-Mobile USA that builds and manages the Wi-Fi networks).
FON says, it's simple. Why would a Starbucks patron pay $10 to T-Mobile when he or she could use the service being provided by the FON router for $2 a day? For your troubles (and for providing the broadband access), you get half that, or $1.
FON claims to be the largest Wi-Fi community in the world; members share their wireless Internet access at home and, in return, enjoy free Wi-Fi wherever they find another Fon access point.