Philidelphia is launching affordable, municipal wide, Wi-Fi coverage. One of the key drivers behind this project was to shrink the digital divide, and this is a very noble cause. The city considers Internet access to be like street lighting and sanitation.
Needless to say, heavy lobbying on part of the telecommunications industri has succeded in stopping similar projects in other states, and also elsewhere in Pensylvania.
In the BBC article, it is also mentioned how Google will offer free Wi-Fi access in Mountain View, and they have great idea. If you own a Wi-Fi login page, you can have can cover it with profit-generating links and advertisements.
In my appartment alone, there are already 2 other Wi-Fi networks in range. It would surely make me consider opening my Wi-Fi network to my neighbours.
If this catches on, the telecommunications companies will wonder what hit them.