Wireless LAN (Local Area Network) devices have been around for awhile. The standard that seems to be THE standard is I.E.E.E 802.11b and it seems manufacturers are advertising compliance (read inter operability) with this standard. Their performance has steadily improved and the prices have been falling. The price per device ranges from $50 thru $800. These devices will give you a 11 mega bit transfer rate allowing you to do anything you can do on a LAN. I have used Microsoft Netmeeting to pass Web style video, audio and data anywhere in my house.. With ranges up to 300 feet indoors and up to a 1000 feet out doors these devices are limited, but they are low power and are using small no gain antennas. Some companies have devices with external antenna connectors and a line of gain antennas. Ranges in miles are advertised.
So what am I saying here? I'm saying by using low power stations spread
over a geographic area we can spread a wireless web that would allow internet
like TCP/IP networking to all stations on the net. This can be done to
a large extent with COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) devices and software.
Of course as hams we would improve and modify things to make them work,
so let's get going!