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Mentiroso: FON Numbers and Coverage

Over at The Fon Blog (unofficial one, that is) antonde has made the claim that the new FON map and the FON counter don't match up. In his sample, less than 10% of the registered foneros showed active WiFi points on the FON map.

Activity of FON Points

In my own sample (my house) the point shows as not being active, but it very definitely is active. FON has some problems to overcome with this map and I'm sure it's just a matter of time. On the one hand, they only want to show points that they are fairly certian are actually working. The most certain test of a "working" router is some recent activity by a fonero on the wifi side of the router. That test is also likely to give "false negatives" such as in the case of my router. It's unlikely that people will use it (I use the wired ethernet side), which marks it as inactive, which makes people unlikely to use's somewhat self-fulfilling. Last night I used the FON wifi network to see how long it would be to show my point as active. Now (12 hours later) it's still not showing as being "active". In my test, the system is overly pessimisting.

Mentiroso FON Counter

antonde also called for FON to 'please stop that “mentiroso” counter on your home page'. Mentiroso is Spanish for "Liar", basically saying that it over-inflated the number of Foneros. Again, in my experience, I was added to the OLD map and I believe I was counted in that number before I had my access point delivered, much less installed and running. The old map and counter were overly optimistic as they counted people as soon as they registered - not based upon actual running routers.

The "right" way to count Foneros?

My personal practice would be to be somewhat pessimistic and only count the points once they've had an active user. However, they should count a router as active if it has had any activity in the past week or month and then also if it has checked in for it's nightly "heartbeat" ping.

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