I can't really go more than a 1/2 mile in NYC without finding an open free wifi hotspot. Maybe things are different in Rhode Island. YMMV (your mileage may vary) caveats apply.
There's no reason why some muni wireless coudln't fill in the gaps (MICRO REGIONAL WIRELESS ISP'S) left behind by Verizon, for example in West Virginia! Why should Verizon or AT&T be the only ones to put predatory pricing in place for wireless without competition? These things will have to happen at the state level, since the federal government is only interested in being manipulated by 3 industries: war, banks and oil-- regardless of party. It's just that the republicans will sell out the country's national interests for less than democrats will (at least that's current perception).