Interesting that the mainstream Economist Magazine is tracking this
..Take, for example, the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN), in Illinois. This group is trying to create a so-called meshed Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi is a wireless technology that allows broadband internet communication over a range of about 50 metres. That range could, however, be extended if the devices in an area were configured to act as �platforms� that both receive and transmit signals. Messages would then hop from one platform to another until they got to their destination. That would allow such things as neighbourhood mobile-phone companies and a plethora of radio and TV stations, and all for almost no cost . But to make such goodies work, CUWiN needs to tweak the underlying capabilities of Wi-Fi chips in special ways.
bold added by me
Economist.com | Wireless broadband