Search behemoth Google and Skype Technologies, eBay’s Internet phone company, have announced that they are backing a Spanish Internet start-up, called FON Technology, in its efforts to create a shared, global network of wireless hot spots, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Based in Madrid, FON was created roughly four months ago, The Journal reports. The company’s chief executive and founder, European Internet Entrepreneur Martin Varsavsky, says the company does not currently have any revenue but has secured some $21.7 million in funding from investors, including Google and Skype, as well as two venture-capital firms, Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures.
Niklas Zennstrom, Skype founder, told The Journal that “enabling more communities to tap into the power of the Web benefits us all.”
A Google spokesperson said FON “will allow people to get online more often, and from more locations.”
FON users, or “FONeros,” must have an existing broadband connection at home. When they’re away from home, they can use the company’s free software to “roam” at no charge on some other users’ connection, as long as they agree to allow other users to do the same on their connections.
FON is currently offering its service free of charge on a trial basis. It will begin charging for its services this summer.
Read Faster Wireless Data Chips from IBM, Philly Goes Wireless With EarthLink and Silicon Valley May Go Wireless, for CIO’s latest wireless-related news.
Check out our CIO News Alerts page for continuing news coverage.