You have a 24/7 broadband connection. You buy a wlan-router (~ 120 €) and connect it and configure it to open. Now you and everyone within a range of 30 to 70 meters in a densely built city surounding and up to 700 meters on open field can connect wireless to the internet (reception units PC Card, USB or PCMCIA cost ~ 35 € now, which is 06.04).
There are security issues, yes.
Setting up local severs you can connect routers. That means you can also download stuff from a computer connected via wireless even 20 km away.
I heard about new techniques that go directly up to 5 km. Might be wrong.
Several cities managed to makes large connected areas: Seatte, Portland, add more please.
There was an attempt to make a wlan between Venice and Padova / Italy in 2003 which failed.
In a city that has an OpenWLAN you can connect to the internet for free from a desktop, laptop, or PDA-unit whereever. A tiny city like Venice could be covered with 35 open acesspoints.
[de]wiki zu freie Netze, Berlin http://wlanfhain.databang.org/WaveLanBerlin.cgi?WaveLanBerlin