A Collaborative Net
Now, however, there's a Spanish ISP that's encouraging its customers to open their Wi-Fi access to others who use the same ISP (password access would be required). Customer's who are willing to do so will be given wireless a router at the (supposedly) discounted price of $5.
This is an interesting idea....but, imagine something more...
Suppose hardware prices keep dropping and technology keeps improving. Imagine a time when you could use some part of the radio spectrum to communicate securely with a friend's computer about half a mile away. Imagine you could communicate with another friend a half-mile in another direction. Imagine you set up your machine as a router for them, so they can communicate with each other (via your router). Imagine a wiki-type explosion of collaboration. Imagine such home-based wireless routers all over a suburban area. With enough power (and IPv6), you'd only need an ISP for long-distance communication (across sparsely populated areas).