Starting to move... January 2011:
There is a movement just starting up - it is not very well developed yet - that has as its vision the establishment of an independent layer of connectivity between end users, by means of directly networking (mesh network) Wifi or similar wireless connections. The connectivity layer is owned by users, who form a cooperative which takes care of the technical details such as choice of equipment and installation, and which acts as a representative of its members towards internet access providers, negotiating one or more high bandwidth internet connections which are then made available to all the members of the cooperative network.
This would add a robust and sustainable local layer of connectivity and communication to the internet, and it would make the net much more resilient against centralized control and even against unforseen catastrophic events. Once a local network is functioning, data can be cached, making each neighborhood more independent and more resilient to outside interference.