Orcon joins Tomizone hotspot scheme

Deal makes it easier for Orcon customers to earn revenue from wi-fi

Following its deal with D-Link to include free software that allows end-users to set up shareable wi-fi hotspots in two of its wireless routers, Tomizone has struck a deal with Auckland ISP Orcon that lets customers earn money easily from doing so.

Tomizone CEO Steve Simms, says Orcon is the first New Zealand ISP to join his company. Other ISPs have also expressed interest in Tomizone, Simms says, claiming feedback from providers on the service has been positive.

Tomizone works by allowing ISP customers with broadband connections to set up secure, shareable wi-fi hotspots. They can then resell access to the hotspot, charging $4 for up to 160MB of data every 24 hours (or 1.2GB over seven days). Users get to keep half of the money, with Tomizone taking the other half. There is no limit to how much money customers can make.

According to Simms, Tomizone is currently going global and establishing itself in Australia, China and the United States.

Seeby Woodhouse, managing director of Orcon, says his company has made it easier for customers to share their connections. The revenue they earn is credited to their bills, Woodhouse says, and customers can also roam to other, shared, Tomizone users’ connections on other ISPs.

“It’s a great idea for a service,” Woodhouse says. The attraction for Orcon with Tomizone is that if end-users make money out of their connections, they’re using more data that ISPs can then charge for.

The risk of hotspot users “hammering” Tomizone operators’ broadband connections are mitigated by the 160MB per 24-hour limit, Woodhouse says. In order to use more than that, hotspot users have to purchase another 160MB block.

Woodhouse also approves of the ability to use MAC (Media Access Control) address filtering, allowing customers to use hotspots at friends’ places or at work without paying Tomizone access charges.

It means companies can set up accounts for staff, Woodhouse says, that can be used across multiple sites. The connections can then all be monitored at and billed back to one central location.

Under the deal, Orcon will split the revenue that Tomizone gets from customers.

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