Paying to give stuff away

I really like the idea of a community WIFI project. The idea is pretty simple: people who already have internet connections set up WIFI hotspots and allow others to use their bandwidth for free (or a minor charge). I like this idea because I dislike my ISP, and I barely use my connection.

I wasn’t aware of a community WIFI project in Ottawa until yesterday, when CBC did a story on ogWifi. It’s a quasi-community group that is giving away free access to other people’s bandwidth. The only catch is that they are charging the hotspot owner $50/year. That’s on top of the $80 for the router.

C’mon ogWifi! I’m a private residence. I don’t want to pay to give away something I’m already paying for. If you want to charge for-profit agencies who stand to make money on their connections, fine. But I’m not a for-profit entity. By signing up with your service I would have to do a lot of work. And you want me to pay on top of that? Good luck.

On the other side of the coin, I just got my FON router. The thing is tiny (about the size of a pack of cards), and, most importantly, free. You hear that ogWifi? FREE!