Home » Activism » Share Wi-Fi Internet Access in Rincon Hill with FON

Share Wi-Fi Internet Access in Rincon Hill with FON

While reading the Bay Area Reporter a few weeks ago, I was very interested in an initiative to set up wi-fi Internet access in The Castro at a grassroots, one neighbor at a time level using a router sold by FON, the world’s largest wi-fi community. Like some of you, I was a little disappointed when the Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) folks got in the way of allowing Google and Earthlink to set up free citywide Wi-Fi Internet access.

FON presents an easy alternative that allows us to share our Internet connections wirelessly and to receive free access to others’ Fonera Wi-Fi access points around town and around the world in return. If you’d like, there’s an option to make a buck from sharing your access – but I would discourage it in the name of minimizing barriers for the free flow of info.

Join the FON movement!

I just received and set up my Fonera Wi-Fi router last night. It was very easy to set up, and it seems to be working fine inside my unit. If you happen to be at Baycrest or wandering near Main and Harrison streets with a Wi-Fi device at hand, please take a moment to search for the FON_AP wireless network. I believe it would be very helpful to cover our neighborhood with these access points. I believe I can send an e-mail to 20 folks that provides a steep discount to the regular price for a Fonera Wi-Fi router. Please e-mail me your Rincon Hill-located mailing address at rinconhill@gmail.com so that I can verify you’re a neighbor, and I will then send you one of those 20 invites to join Fonera. Of course, you can just go to the www.FON.com/en web site and order a router to be done with it too. 🙂

Enjoy the entertaining local commercials FON made for the “Share the Castro” promotion in the embedded video clip below.

2 Responses to Share Wi-Fi Internet Access in Rincon Hill with FON

  1. What made you choose FON over Meraki’s Free The Net or Sonic.net’s Open WiFi Project? Just curious.


  2. I like the idea behind Meraki, and I am hopeful that I can maybe connect to their system as well with an additional router device once their “mesh” network is visible to me in Rincon Hill. I’ve used Meraki when sitting at Borders on King Street when the McDonald’s AT&T Wi-Fi connection across the street wasn’t working properly, and it certainly works fine. The barrier to entry is that I need to see the network with my Wi-Fi card first, at least that’s how I understand their Free The Net program. I do give them thumbs up for not requiring that I create a login account (or at least I don’t recall that I needed to do so).

    Sonic.net requires subscription to their DSL service. I’m paying $10 a month for my AT&T DSL. I was able to get that rate because I had neither AT&T landline phone service nor DSL service from AT&T for years – that enabled me to get the special deal on DSL if I also ordered basic phone service for at least one year (I believe the promotion was the result of some class action lawsuit settlement that they had to offer some no-frills $10 per month DSL service). I do see a Sonic.net Open WiFi signal from my condo, so somebody is helping that plan out. I don’t have the urge to get Sonic DSL service.

    I went with FON mainly because there are no barriers to entry for me. All I need is an Internet connection to share. Even better, by sharing my Internet connection at home, I gain access to a (hopefully) growing number of FON Wi-Fi access points around the country and around the world. See their map of access points. There are already some other FON access points in Rincon Hill (zip code 94105) – granted, one or two of them are supposedly set up at technical media companies’ access points that may just be set up for testing purposes. I don’t believe Meraki or Sonic have such an incentive to join their networks.