Roberto Rocha has an article about Ile Sans Fil (and current head Laurent Maisonnave), the volunteer-run free wireless hot spot network, which is still thriving while for-profit commercial systems have either been delayed or quietly cancelled.
I remember having a meeting long ago with a guy who had this idea of starting up a free wifi network. This was before laptops came with wireless built-in and before most people even knew what it was. I thought the guy was crazy, or at least naive, thinking such a network could be setup.
He went and created Ile Sans Fil, which now has about 150 hotspots.
Don’t I feel silly.