Not long ago most WiFi routers were open. People did not bother to secure them because they did not believe they had anything to worry about. Then came FireSheep, an extension to the FireFox browser, that showed everyone how they were exposed on public and open WiFi connections.
Now most WiFi routers are secure and I bet people like AT&T and Comcast and Verizon think that is a pretty good thing. After all, they are selling bandwidth in fixed bundles and no one is maximizing the amount they use.
Enter the OpenWireless movement. This group has set about to establish new standards through which the vulnerabilities exposed by FireSheep can be addressed and promoting the idea that everyone should share their internet connection. Quite a few organizations are supporting the initiative including the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Others including Open Garden are introducing new technologies that make it easier to share bandwidth between devices or people.
This is important because it is yet another way that the Internet can route around obsticles. The Internet is naturally suited to find the best (easiest / cheapest) way round a blockage and we all need to do what we can to support that kind of thinking. If the Information Superhighway becomes a toll road, we all lose.