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Home Wi-Fi hotspot firm gets €10m

Additional funds for Fon's global Wi-Fi plan

Wi-Fi startup Fon Technology has secured an additional €10m (£7m) in funding for its plan to establish a global network of shared hotspots.

The funding came from new and previous investors, which have included Google, Skype, Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital Operations, Fon said. The new investors were not named. Index and Sequoia invested €18m in Fon in February 2006.

Based in Madrid, Fon provides routers that let home Wi-Fi users share their broadband internet connections with others, and then tap into those other users' connections for free when they are on the road.

Fon's router let users divide how much bandwidth they will share. It broadcasts two Wi-Fi signals, one for shared use and a secure, encrypted one for private use.

Fon said it has doubled the number of Wi-Fi access points in the last two months to 120,000. The new funds will go to building up Fon's user community, which numbers 320,000 members, said spokeswoman Tania Cavada. More specific plans will be released later, she said.

Fon has partnered with Skype to provide Wi-Fi coverage for users of mobile Skype. It has also partnered with ISPs (Internet service providers) and social-networking site Bebo.


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