Interesting to see Microsoft's approach here -- a park bench on the internet is a good idea. The concept of connecting community centers with computers predates the Net and is going on all around, though; you may find these two academic overviews (here's one, and another) intriguing, especially the mentions of the Berkeley-area Community Memory project. And looking beyond parkbenches, various community networking groups like consume.net are working to decentralize Net access, at least for those living where coverage is available.
|proc|meminfo writes: "MSN is bringing internet access to park benches in Bury St. Edmunds, England. The bench (for now) will be in Abbey Gardens, and those with laptops will be able to hook up to recieve free MSN internet access through the bench. MSN says it should be ready for operation in August/September."