FON, Time Warner deal confirmed

It has been more than twenty days since we reported that FON, the share-your-Wi-Fi service company was in talks with Time Warner Cable. Today, a news report from Associated Press confirms the deal and adds, that Time Warner Cable “will let its home broadband customers turn their connections into public wireless hotspots, a practice shunned by most U.S. Internet service providers.” Time Warner spokesperson confirmed the deal, though the two companies didn’t give any specifics.

FON is taking a shot at T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi service, with Joanna Rees, chief executive of FON USA adding, “They’re extorting people.” Lets just say, that is a bit of an overstatement – $30-to-40-a-month for a service that is reliable (if not fast) hardly counts as extortion.

Despite all the buzz, FON has a miniscule presence in the US and may not be that appealing to business travelers, who are short on time, and always look for convenience. Starbucks-T-Mobile does offer that. From that perspective, FON has its work cut out.

Meanwhile, since our big FON giveaway, some folks have written to us, and have pointed out that there is a bug in the firmware of the FON routers. Apparently, the default bandwidth control is broken. This is a way to allocate the bandwidth for the hotspot, and can be configured by the users. The bug, however takes away the bandwidth control, and visiting Foneros can suck all the bandwidth. This bug has been mentioned on FON boards.

Disclosure: GigaOM readers were offered FON routers for free as part of a special promotional offer.

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