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Businesses Wireless Networking

Startup Launches Open Wi-Fi, Challenging ISPs 65

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-some-internet dept.
Chuckles08 writes "Forbes has a story about how FreedomPop is trying to disrupt the public Wi-fi business. From the article: 'Getting hosed by your Internet service provider may seem as inevitable as death and taxes, but a new startup aims to change that. Startup FreedomPop, which is backed by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, DCM and Mangrove Capital, provides cheaper Internet access and the ability for people to share access with others on its network.'"
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Startup Launches Open Wi-Fi, Challenging ISPs

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  • Re:Prediction: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gagol (583737) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:30AM (#42270283)
    ipv6 could address this problem very easily... no nat allowed on the box, every device have its own ip.
  • Not a world first (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:41AM (#42270327)

    We have it here in Israel and it seems to work pretty well. http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000768403&fid=1725

  • Re:Prediction: (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:53AM (#42270381)

    Won't get that far. Comcast is part of the MPAA now... they'll just wait all 30 seconds until someone downloads an illegal copy of a movie, then sue with everything they have. FreedomPop will burn through all their startup funds paying legal fees, and blink out of existence.

  • Re:Prediction: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WaffleMonster (969671) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:54AM (#42270387)

    At some point, someone is going to get into *serious* legal trouble through this. Most likely via someone using their connection transfering child porn and getting caught. It only has to happen once.

    Nothing can ever happen if everyone is always content to sit in the corner cowering in fear of what could happen. Such a society would suck ass.

    I would counter your argument by asking a stupid question... How many tens? hundreds? of millions of PCs are compromised botnet zombies?

    Why could not the same argument of CP raid risk be extended to simply owning a PC? We've all heard of encryption ransomware why not CP raid ransom or your compromised system being used to traffic the same? What is the difference?

  • Re:Prediction: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fph il quozientatore (971015) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @04:05AM (#42270431) Homepage
    I know a few people in Germany that run a free public Wi-Fi network and they have tried to get registered as an internet provider (alas, without success). Providers are not held liable for what people do using their connection; why should this be legally different? It seems that the only difference is that you are not paying for it.
  • by sciencewatcher (1699186) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @04:38AM (#42270537)
    In the city of Groningen, The Netherlands, population 180,000, the cable company has converted the wireless routers of most of the subscribers into dual private and open Wi-Fi access points. Almost all subscribers agreed to participate. In return the subscribers can use each others access points using their own username and password. As you walk or cycle down the street the connection stays permanent as you move from one access point to the next. Both the cable company and the wireless phone operators are in fierce competition with asymmetrical infrastructure. This move by the cable company seems to be designed to undercut the need for 3G/4G access for tablets and smartphones. There are plans to roll out this new type of usage throughout the country.
  • Re:Prediction: (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @05:48AM (#42270839)

    I know a few people in Germany that run a free public Wi-Fi network and they have tried to get registered as an internet provider (alas, without success). Providers are not held liable for what people do using their connection; why should this be legally different? It seems that the only difference is that you are not paying for it.

    If it takes a charge to be registered as an ISP, then charge for it - charge 0.01 Euro per 10 years, to be paid in 2099.

  • Clearwire = No Go (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rsmith-mac (639075) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @06:45AM (#42271109)

    Unfortunately FreedomPop is building their service on top of Clearwire's WiMax service, which doesn't bode well for the performance or the reliability of the resulting service.

    Clearwire ceased their buildout more than a year ago, and assuming they survive the next few years will be trying to roll out an LTE network on their spectrum. In the meantime their WiMax network is already oversubscribed both on a per-tower basis and a backhaul basis; as a result the actual speed of the service isn't much better than CDMA 3G, never mind HSPA+ or LTE. Adding a bunch of users is only going to make this worse, especially since FreedomPop isn't the only service taking advantage of Clearwire's cutthroat rates.

    Clearwire's 2.6GHz spectrum may also be a minor concern here. Based on the results of Clearwire's own efforts, their spectrum works well for mobile use but has a lot of trouble penetrating homes, which is where a service like FreedomPop is most likely to be used.

    Ultimately like any other wireless service this is going to be entirely area-dependent. But for most users they're effectively buying into a cheap 3G-ish service with no quality of service standards. It's cheap, but that's about all FreedomPop has going for it.

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