Once upon a time there was a Mobile Access company called Ricochet. They were fast, they had good coverage in many major cities, they were flat-rate and reasonably priced.
Ricochet was the Top-Secret Method I used to send Al the DCA Electrical Parade Premier photographs for the front page in a matter of minutes (without using Sneakernet), so he could have them edited and on-line at MousePlanet first thing the next morning. And it worked perfectly, even though I had to go park on the top level of the Mickey and Friends structure to get a solid signal - they hadn't gotten the build-out close enough yet...
And then Ricochet went belly up because they couldn't figure out how to market their service, and they didn't grow the customer base fast enough to support the massive equipment investment they made. They had one warehouse full of customer modems, and another one full of pole-top repeaters...
Fast forward a few years and a few corporate buy-outs, and they're back open in Denver and San Diego, but their promised re-rollout of the system stalled after that. They announced another city (IIRC Fort Worth TX) was "Coming Soon", and then they quietly un-announced it. (You'll notice I'm not holding my breath for the Los Angeles Area announcement.)
Before I drop some serious coin for the Verizon Mobile Broadband Access PC-Card modem solution (and get on the hook for a 1-year contract on it...) I'm looking for other practical ideas.
I don't want to rely on HotSpot access, and I'm not a Starbucks (r) frou-frou type anyways, so that's out as a primary method. Plus, there have been horror stories where people found open unsecured 802.11B networks and innocently hopped on to use them, only to have the stores track them down and prosecute later - a Lowe's IIRC.
I'm going to use it for work-type stuff, so getting a Ham ticket and using packet radio is out.
And using the Cellphone data cable with my old LG VX2000 for slow-speed access certainly works - but after graduating all the way from "the bad old days" of 110-baud acoustic-coupler dial-up (using TIBBS and The Source) to today's DSL speed, you get spoiled.
--<< Bruce >>--