Local paper covers Portland's Personal Telco community wireless project, focusing on its lead booster, Nigel Ballard: The article in Willamette Week presents a comprehensive look at Personal Telco's efforts to date. It examines Nigel's work on the Box, an education-consortium-funded pastiche of back-haul, front-haul, and mesh that could be a tool for free wireless in urban cities as well as Internet access in remote reaches of the world. The article looks into how municipal Wi-Fi in Portland might challenge entrenched commercial interests, as well.
Two coffeeshop businesses that offer free Wi-Fi with Personal Telco's help clearly see an effect. Both report a new audience of regulars who spend money.
Nigel is a frequent correspondent to this site, always providing interesting insight into the what's coming next. The article doesn't even mention that his past and current day job has been to build commercial Wi-Fi networks at hotels and elsewhere. There's too much to say about the public efforts.