Space Ramblings

Time Warner Gets with the Sharing

Subscribers to Time Warner Cable Inc.’s cable modem service in the U.S. can now share their broadband Internet connection with others through Fon Technology SL, which provides a special public/private router.

Fon’s La Fonera router lets broadband users in homes and small businesses operate an internal Wi-Fi network that is secure and another one that is open. Users can choose how much of their broadband capacity is dedicated to their own use and how much is available to the public. Anyone who uses the router to share access at home can use other La Fonera routers when they are away from home. Other people, called “aliens,” can pay US$3 per day for access. Business users can choose another plan in which they get a portion of that $3 per day fee instead of getting free access on the road.

Time Warner Cable will share in the fees aliens pay, but will also benefit because Fon makes broadband more attractive, Rees said. More consumers would sign up for broadband if they knew they could take advantage of it on the road, she said. In addition, La Fonera keeps neighbors from leeching off a customer’s open Wi-Fi network without signing in or paying for Fon service.

Well I’m impressed. Who would have thought Time Warner would get the concept of sharing. Seems like the big corporations these days react to any proposal that involves sharing with lawsuits and lawyers dressed in shark suits or is that sharks dressed in lawyer suits, I can honestly never remember.

Of course this won’t seem nearly as friendly when Time Warner starts canceling the accounts of Fon customers for using too much bandwidth, as Comcast has been known to do.

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