Spanish Wi-Fi startup Fon has been backed by Google, Skype and two venture capital firms to the tune of E18 million.
Fon wants to build a global network of one million Wi-Fi hot spots by 2010. To do this the company provides software which allows each of its users to access the internet through any other Fon user’s Wi-Fi connection.
Ultimately, Fon envisages its customers being able to connect to the internet from almost anywhere on the planet, so long as there is a fellow Fon user in the vicinity. For internet service companies such as Google and Skype, the ubiquitous availability of their services that this entails represents an exciting growth opportunity.
Fon has already earmarked the funds raised by the deal to increase its subscription base and support the growth of its network. It is placing a particular emphasis on countries were broadband services are unaffordable for most people, giving the deal a welcome human edge.