While the cost of internet services remains criminally high (and slow) in the US this is still a positive development for consumers. In France we have had the option to access Wi-Fi routers outside of home for years though it's strictly been through the option to access other vendors routers has not yet happened.
Cool news from cnet:
The nation's biggest cable operators are banding together to offer free Wi-Fi access to their broadband customers in more than 50,000 hotspots around the country.
On Monday, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, and Time Warner Cable announced on the first day of the Cable Show here that they'd enable each other's broadband customers to access their metro Wi-Fi hot spots. The companies are calling the new network "CableWiFi," so that subscribers will be able to find the hot spots when they're roaming outside their own cable territory.
In early 2010, Cablevision, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable began allowing their subscribers to roam onto each other's Wi-Fi networks in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Connecticut. And Bright House Networks and Cablevision have already launched CableWiFi alongside their branded WiFi networks around New York City and in central Florida earlier this month.