With Toronto Hydro's recent announcement that it will be blanketing downtown Toronto with WiFi service (free of charge for six months, but then ...), I wonder how long it will be until Internet service becomes truly commoditized/utilitized - sold, offered and serviced not too differently than we think of water, gas or electricity. No more fancy promotions, jazzy packaging, etc., just another municipal service we tend to regard as a staple for each and every household.
Besides the obvious business impact to the existing providers (wasn't running water once considered a premium service?), health issues are still a factor, and not just to typical conspiracy theorist types. The president of Lakehead University, for example, won’t allow campus-wide WiFi until he’s satisfied EMF (electric and magnetic fields) exposure doesn’t pose a health risk, particularly to young people. Other schools, including Concordia and Carleton University are also debating these risks, as described in a recent Canadian IT Business article.