In June this year, I attended the MuniWireless Silicon Valley conference in Santa Clara, California. It was a 2.5 day event with lots of stuff going on - presentations, workshops, birds-of-a-feather sessions, product demos, etc. The open-source community was very well represented.
One particular presentation that I found very interesting had to do with an initiative called Green Wifi. It uses solar energy to power wireless routers and it's been deployed in developing countries where the infrastructure is still lacking. I talked to the founders, Marc Pomerleau and Bruce Baikie, and was very impressed by their dedication and enthusiasm. Check out their website at www.green-wifi.org.
Another interesting initiative is the Ile Sans Fil, a community wireless project for providing free wireless access in Montreal, Canada. I talked to Michael Lenczner from the group, a very enthusiatic young man who pulled out his laptop and showed me how he could monitor the live status of hotspots in Canada, right there from our conference room in Santa Clara. Their website is www.ilesansfil.org. They have also developed a captive portal solution aimed at groups or individuals who want to open free wireless hotspots while preventing abuse of the system. It's called WifiDog and is Linux open source.