Skype invests in FON to increase Wi-Fi availability
This just in from Niklas and Janus…
When we started to think about developing Skype we did so believing that it was inevitable that broadband access would become low-cost and ubiquitous and as it did, communications would increasingly move to the Internet and be accessible through any connected device.
There is no more important shared goal that we have as an industry than helping to make broadband Internet access widespread and low cost — if together we succeed then everyone wins. So as part of Skype’s role in making this happen and our strategy of increasing your choices when it comes to how and with what devices you can get online, today we are announcing that we are making a small investment in a new and exciting company called [FON](http://en.fon.com/).
FON is trying to make it easy for anyone who has already invested in broadband and a wireless access point to securely share their Wi-Fi, so together we can build a unified global wireless network which is easy to access, safe to share and reasonably priced. What [Martin Varsavsky](http://english.martinvarsavsky.net/fon/a-dream-come-true.html) and the people at FON are doing in making it easy for people to access Wi-Fi anywhere is exactly what we had in our minds as a logical next step as Skype began to proliferate across desktops around the world, so we’re delighted to be a part of the [FON revolution](http://blog.fon.com/en/archive/a-dream-come-true.html).
At Skype we are huge believers in the power of community. Community has driven our growth and we think you’ll like this idea as much as we do because it’s one more powerful option we will all have in deciding how and where we can get online. We also think this idea is bigger than any one business, so we are delighted to work with Martin and the rest of the FON team to make the idea of a global broadband wireless network a reality.
Over the last year, we’ve been really focused on helping you extend the Skype experience beyond your desktop. We’ve introduced great new features like video and call-forwarding and we’ve worked with great hardware partners like [Linksys](http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?childpagename=US%2FLayout&packedargs=c%3DL_Promotion_C2%26cid%3D1127783201481&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper), Philips, Motorola and Panasonic so you can have a cordless experience of Skype at home or in your office. In fact just in the last month, we announced at CES with [Netgear](http://tools.netgear.com/skype/) that you will be able to use Skype on a Wi-Fi phone — no computer, no wires, just turn it on and talk. Over the course of this next year you can expect to see more great Skype accessories coming out from great partners like these and more.
But great accessories are just one piece of the equation. The other piece is reliable and cost-effective broadband access anywhere you go. In 2005, we were thrilled to work with [innovative mobile operators](http://blogs.skype.com/sites/en/2006/01/skype_and_3_partner_for_mobile.html) in Germany, Sweden and Hong Kong to offer Skype alongside their unlimited flat-rate 3G data packages. We’ve also been able to launch an early version of our Skype Zones service across over 20,000 locations worldwide with Boingo and The Cloud, two of the world’s leading Wi-Fi hotspot access providers. Our goal is to give users a seamless experience of all forms of broadband access. Now with FON there will be another option to connect — [we hope you enjoy it](http://en.fon.com/registration/downloading-area.php).
**Niklas and Janus**