Speakeasy says that Fon claims a deal where none exists: I just received this missive and permission to share it from Lynn Brackpool, a spokesperson for Speakeasy Networks. Fon said in reports to some outlets yesterday that Speakeasy Networks was a partner in its plan to spread Wi-Fi sharing using special firmware for Wi-Fi gateways to create massive, grass-roots networks. Speakeasy says they're not involved. (See the bottom of this post for the resolution.)
"FON has falsely announced that they have reached an agreement with Speakeasy regarding support of FON's wireless product. This is 100% completely false. No relationship, financial or otherwise, exists between Speakeasy and FON. In fact, Speakeasy was the first to pro-actively support wireless broadband sharing amongst its subscribers many years ago. Indeed, FON's product appears to be built on a premise Speakeasy introduced in 2003 called NetShare which involves individual revenue-sharing agreements among wireless users (http://www.speakeasy.net/press/pr/pr070803.php).
"We are currently involving legal counsel to demand a retraction from FON regarding their misleading announcement."
On Fon founder Martin Varsavsky's blog, he wrote, "Also I am pleased to announced today that we have obtained the support of two significant ISPs for FON. In America Speakeasy has said that they welcome FON and in Europe, Glocalnet and FON have signed an agreement so Glocalnet sells its services FON ready and the Swedish foneros will soon be able move around Stockholm and other cities with their WiFi enabled gadgets."
This isn't so much a statement of partnership, but might reflect Varsavsky's notion that Speakeasy wouldn't block Fon users.
On the other hand, he several times in his blog and in news stories mentions the word agreement, support, bargain, revenue sharing. Speakeasy has no agreement of any kind with Fon, which would tend to contradict any sense that Fon was sharing revenue with them (unilaterally?) and thus argues that Varsavsky was trying to broaden his appeal by mentioning a U.S. ISP.
Question for Google, Skype, Sequoia, and Index: Did Varsavsky claim a Speakeasy contract? If so, did you do due diligence? If not, will he disclaim his statements?
Update: Speakeasy's Brackpool sent this follow-up statement late today:
"No relationship, financial or otherwise, exists between Speakeasy and FON. The impression may have been created by FON because Speakeasy has always supported an open wireless sharing policy. We have contacted FON and they too understand that no implicit agreement exists between Speakeasy and them in terms of their service. We are satisfied with their response and do not plan to pursue any legal recourse."