Tell us if you've heard this song before: A Spanish company wants to start a Wi-Fi "revolution"
by using existing user Wi-Fi hotspots to create a web of global, free wireless access points. While that sounds just like Fon
, it's actually a new startup named Whisher
that's trying the same idea with a twist. Instead of selling subsidized Wi-Fi routers or dealing with firmware, Whisher offers a downloadable software client that can manage your AP and passwords while integrating chat and other functionality.
The reason Whisher resembles Fon is that Moreno claims he was a Fon co-founder, though that's strangely denied by the people at Fon
. Unlike Fon, who resells user bandwidth, Whisher generates revenue through client ads, which he hopes will keep them on sound legal footing
. "Either you believe in the user-generated revolution or you believe ISPs rule the world,"
says Ferran Moreno, co-founder and CEO of Whisher. "If I am paying for my broadband, I have the right to share it with other people, as long as I am not reselling the service. And we are not reselling access."
If you're a regular from the days when cable providers used to do flyovers of neighborhoods to scan for nefarious Wi-Fi users, you'll recall that just sharing bandwidth is technically against many ISPs' TOS
. With the number of unsecured hotspots out there and the growing amount of 3G coverage, it's hard to see people really bothering to seek out a handful of Whisher or Fon hotspots. That means the software needs to give people something they don't already have -- something that's explored over at Wi-Fi Networking News