Community Powered Wifi

Frequent readers know that I am a fan of free and ubiquitious wifi.  I think its critical for the continued development of the Internet and online services.  But as many commenters point out, its unclear who is going to pay for the deployment of this free service.

One option is that we will all pay for it by organizing in communities and providing it to each other.  I have wifi in my home and office.  I’d happily share it with others if they’d share it back with me.

There is an interesting service called FON that is trying to propigate this kind of community powered wifi.  I think what they are doing is very interesting.

I am also love what Tom Evslin did for his neighbors in Stowe Vermont.  He created a mini wifi powered ISP for everyone who lives around him.

It’s not simple to do what Tom did.  And its not simple to join the FON service.  But stuff like this is going to get more common as people start to collaborate with each other to create services that the large incumbent players won’t provide at price points that make sense.