Speakeasy uses WiFi to cultivate 'broadband resellers'

Mon, 07/07/2003 - 8:00pm
Roger Brown

In a move to expand the broadband experience to more individuals, broadband service provider Speakeasy has introduced WiFi NetShare, which allows Speakeasy subscribers to extend their broadband connectivity to their neighbors via WiFi.

WiFi NetShare enables customers to become WiFi "administrators," who can then set up "wireless zones" within an available perimeter (usually 300 to 500 feet), using commercially available WiFi equipment. Administrators can promote the WiFi NetShare service to neighbors within the zones and establish a subscription fee for those who elect to become customers. Then, all subsequent registration and customer billing relationships are managed by Speakeasy.

"Approximately 40 percent of Speakeasy's subscribers already operate home-based WiFi networks and many of them already enjoy sharing their connection through our free WiFi sharing policy," said Arnaud Gautier, Speakeasy's director of product management.

Once a Speakeasy subscriber sets up a free WiFi NetShare administrator account and chooses a subscription amount (ranging from $20 to $100 per month in set increments), the administrator receives 50 percent of the collected NetShare subscription fees from their participating customers as credits to his Speakeasy account.

Speakeasy handles all customer billing and provides customer service for any technical questions. Administrators are responsible for some aspects of customer support, including initial WiFi setup, signup and basic troubleshooting. They are also responsible for the security and integrity of the shared network.


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