The New York Times has an article today about the popularity and sustainability of free wireless access. Libraries almost get a mention here:
Meanwhile, thousands of free hot spots have been established by public agencies, mom-and-pop businesses hoping to attract customers and individuals working to build a grass-roots based network. A handful of city governments, some in cooperation with local businesses, are deploying free Wi-Fi networks in parts of Jacksonville, Fla., lower Manhattan and Portland, Ore., among other places.
I know that quite a few libraries offer free wireless access. If we would only organize I’m sure we could get some national media coverage about our efforts. With this, more libraries would be apt to implement wireless. Not only would this be an opportunity for libraries to recieve some positive attention, it could also shape the way people use the technology. If libraries would rally around this issue we could have a real impact on the private sector. Establishment offering free wireless will someday likely render pay-as-you-go situations totally unattractive and unnecessary.