PETER MEYERS writes in the NYT, A Dispute Over Wireless Networks
Many Wi-Fi networks, intentionally or otherwise, allow passers-by to use the networks without any password. And there are tools that amplify the Wi-Fi radio signal, enabling it to be delivered over an even larger area, like a park.
Many broadband providers fear that every user of a free wireless network is one less paying customer. “Our goal is just to protect our customer base,” said Mr. Rosenblum, adding that Time Warner Cable currently had no plans to extend this enforcement campaign to other areas that it serves.
Maybe it is a fantasy and I just dont get the science, but I have a sense that companies are trying to bottle air and sell it, and stop anyone from breathing who does not pay up. Maybe there are some gadgets involved and some regulations required, but that is about it.
It is probably like music. Once there was a lot of cost in copying and distributing music. Now that is free but the old companies will not accept that. They want to make it scarce by technological and legal means. Now that is perverse use of tools (though probably familiar law.)