@fBoyle-- I agree with you. Many places have WiFi hotspots now but most of them require a password. Some places give the password freely or allow access if you agree to the terms and conditions. But places like college campuses don't allow access to non-students and non-teachers. One has to go through a process to sign up as a guest user and that's usually for a limited time.
I don't know why internet is still a private property. I wish WiFi hotspots were everywhere and free nation-wide. I know it's not feasible right now, but maybe one day it will be.