I'll be talking to Fon's founder, Martin Varsavsky, tomorrow morning: After a week in which I expressed my opinion in my own and other forums while battling deadlines that nearly did me in, I'll finally have a chance to talk to Varsavsky, who is making time to speak while on what sounds like a very rare vacation.
I've already got piles of questions for him about Fon's relationship to ISPs, the potential revenue that an individual hotspot might achieve, and how Fon will work in different countries. I'm also curious about the number of router models they'll support, and whether mesh routing software and larger antennas are part of the way in which Fon's deployers (Foneros) will be encouraged to extend access. (Mesh would seem to be in conflict with the one Internet connection, one Fon hotspot model, but we'll see.)
If you've got a question for Varsavsky that you'd like me to pose about Fon, please post that question in the comments below, or email me with them. I can't promise to ask or get an answer for every question--startups like to keep their future plans close to the vest, naturally--but it'll be good all around to hear what other people wonder about when looking at Fon's publicly announced plans.
From my point of view, I'm hoping the furor around Fon dies down so that we can look at the broader scope of their aims. Read Ethan Zuckerman's post on Fon, for instance, from last week, where he talks about his role in the advisory panel in context of extending access in Africa and the developing world. He notes that the incumbent telecommunications companies there may be hostile to reduced revenue from networks that rely on very few paid injection points, while sharing a paid connection over a short distance and receiving a revenue share on that might be highly palatable. Zuckerman writes, "I've looked closely at projects designed to build community wireless networks and have been frustrated that many of these projects seem designed explicitly for nations where bandwidth is cheap."