It is possible to design a better mousetrap. In evidence: WifiTastic, founded in September 2005 by David Sidrane of SmartPhoneTools.com and TreoBits.com and Rob Jonson of HobbyistSoftware.com. They take the public WiFi hot spot model and tweak it a bit to offer the operators of these hot spots a more compelling business proposition.
The company helps venue owners to set up a commercial hotspot, suggesting to these owners that they then can earn money by charging people who happen by their (the owners') wireless router to connect for a fixed hourly, daily, or monthly fee. The company also provides suggested prices, but emphasizes that WifiTastic owners may determine their own rates. Users may connect to the router, pay by credit card, and then access the Internet. WifiTastic handles the billing and returns 60 percent of proceeds to the hotspot owner. The company claims that WifiTastic offers the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to set up a secure, reliable commercial WiFi hotspot. Moreover: The company says that rather than provide advertising-supported WiFi access, it is letting any broadband users earn money by sharing their high speed access. This sharing of access capabilities (in effect, creating a commercial version of the FON-based "foneros") may well make it more practical for venue owners who harbored doubts about the viability of hot spot implementation to go ahead and give it a try.
For more on WifiTastic's business model:
- see company's Web site