We were asked at a recent user's group to write down the reasons why we are working on this project. My response is as follows:
The reason why is that we, as a community, have the right to use public frequencies for fun and enjoyment. I probably would never have met the people in my neighborhood with nodes without this project. I think quite soon, though, I will be walking over to their house and introducing myself.
I see rooftop VPNs across the city! I hope that we'll get organized enough to be able to route packets amongst ourselves without even using the internet. How cool would that be?!? There are probably a number of logical reasons to do this, but the main reason, logical or not, is "because it's [not] there [yet]."
People have been doing phone line "patch through" on Ham, VHF and CB for as long as I remember. As a kid, I thought it was damn cool that my dad could get patched through from his CB to our home phone from the top of Mt. Hood. Are these radioheads "ripping off" the phone companies by patching through the occasional visitor? I don't think so.
I don't believe that PDXWireless is something that will be abused either. I'm not going to go over to my neighbors' node and download the entire contents of Linuxiso.org onto my laptop from my car. In turn, I think that he/she would pay me the same respect.
We just want to be able to freely read the news or email at the park and/or coffee shop. We're just a community of folks that enjoy and respect the right to use these public frequencies and who love to totally and completely geek out.