Maybe FON is not today's version of the 1960s, but still, there is something about its concept of sharing that brings the good old days of the 1960s communes to mind. Not that purely capitalist tools mind, as evidenced by reports that Taiwanese networking vendor Accton Technology is close to a deal with FON SA to manufacturer wireless equipment for the Spanish company. In February Madrid-based FON made the headlines by announcing the completion of a $21.7 million Series A funding round which included Google and Skype as investors. At the same time Mike Volpi, VP of business development at Cisco, became a board member of FON.
The company's business model is based on its software being downloaded to a WiFi router (provided by Linksys), enabling free or paid-for access to the Internet to third parties who are, like the owner, a member of the FON community ("foneros"). There are "Linus" members (who allow free access) and "Bills" (who charge), and there are also "Alien" foneros, who only pay to access the network without owning infrastructure, with 50 percent of the revenue from them shared with the Bills.
Some speculate that Accton will supply gear to FON for use in the Asian market, while Linksys will continue to supply the routers in Europe and the Americas.
For more on the Accton-FON possible deal
-see Computer Business Review report