Speakeasy Says No FoN Deal

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Speakeasy, the Seattle-based high-speed Internet Services Company says that it has no deal with FoN, the hot new start-up, and is now looking to take a legal recourse against them. FoN had announced a $21.7 million in funding from Google, Skype, Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures yesterday. Glenn Fleishman has all the details on his blog. Seems to me that FoN made a bone-headed move on day one of their very public life.

“FON has falsely announced that they have reached an agreement with Speakeasy regarding support of FON’s wireless product. This is 100% completely false. No relationship, financial or otherwise, exists between Speakeasy and FON. In fact, Speakeasy was the first to pro-actively support wireless broadband sharing amongst its subscribers many years ago. Indeed, FON’s product appears to be built on a premise Speakeasy introduced in 2003 called NetShare which involves individual revenue-sharing agreements among wireless users …We are currently involving legal counsel to demand a retraction from FON regarding their misleading announcement.”

“A senior representative from FON did connect with Speakeasy’s CEO in late 2005 and they discussed their companies and general business practices within a 10-minute phone call; the FON contact also indicated that they might want to set up a meeting with Speakeasy if their (FON’s) travels brought them to the U.S. No other contact has occurred since this brief phone conversation,” adds Lynn Brackpool, Speakeasy spokesperson.

This just an from Speakeasy: “We have contacted FON and they too understand that no implicit agreement exists between Speakeasy and them in terms of their service. We are satisfied with their response and do not plan to pursue any legal recourse.”

Wi-Fi Networking News: Speakeasy Says No Deal with Fon.

Mark Evans on Challenges facing FoN. (must read folks!)

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Gonzalo Navas

Perhaps people from USA thinks Fon is a well-known and great project, here in Spain. Martin Varsavsky has got that skill, it is what he does best: he gets everybody thinks many important companies and people is supporting his projects. The problem is how he does: he lies all the time. This is not the first time somebody says “what he said about us and Fon is not true” (for example, 3 months ago he claimed in his blog he had got an agreement with Jazztel, and nearly the same for Telefonica).

Now he’s got some money for the project (a very small part of the amount they would need to create a global network, anyway), but I wonder… he owns more than 500 million dollars, why doesn’t he use EVEN ONE million dollar of his own money to support Fon?

I think that Fon is, since the first moment, vaporware. It isn’t working anywhere, no ISP from Spain wanted to support them, Martin doesn’t put any money to support the project… The only thing the project generates is news (Martin is an expert in this area).

In my opinion, he’s trying to get what he got with Jazztel: he raised 1200 million dollars for the project and sold his part of the enterprise as soon as he could.

Attending at what I’ve read about the project, the goal is the same: he is not working in order to people get wifi access to Internet through Fon (in fact, nobody’s got that access by the moment), he is just working to get that somebody puts the money to take it and run.

Anyway, Jazztel was a different history: I think Martin really wanted Jazztel to be a working project. Now I suppose Martin is much more experimented: I bet this time he will get the money much earlier.

PS: if you’re interested in Jazztel, it’s a funny history: when he leaved the enterprise, investors had spended 1200 million dollars and the companied only got 10,000 clients (although it dedicated 6 millions to advertisements evey year), but he had got his goal: he was 300 million dollars richer than before.

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