Several years ago I wrote a column describing a system I had thought up for sharing Internet hotspots that I called WhyFi. Among the readers of that column were some entrepreneurs in Spain who went on to start the hotspot sharing service called FON, which now has more than 190,000 participating hotspots. Those Spaniards have been quite generous in attributing some of their inspiration to my column. And now this week FON signed a deal with British Telecom that promises to bring tens of thousands more FON hotspots to the UK and beyond. This isn't FON's first deal with a big broadband ISP -- they already have contracts with Speakeasy and Time Warner Cable in the U.S. among others -- but it is one of the biggest and points to an important transformation taking place in the way people communicate.Much like really fast broadband in Japan, FON is an American idea that people in another country adopted and ran with.
— You Can't Get There From Here: The myth of bandwidth scarcity and can Team Cringely really make it to the Moon? By Robert X. Cringely, Pulpit, PBS, October 5, 2007