This would completely decentralize and free the internet. Since money is now a content-type, individual nodes themselves can hold a balance and provide upstream connection for anyone that connects to them. The tokens themselves are the incentive. Devices negotiate with the nodes and pay them a certain amount to connect. The nodes themselves are capable of connecting to other nodes even further upstream. Or “downstream”. Doesn’t matter, because once the system is implemented and running, there won’t be “core” routers or core internet servers as we know them. Everything will be connected and decentralized. This will create a more robust internet that can’t be turned off with the flick of a switch.
Of course other things will need to be decentralized also, such as power generation. It’s already being done on a very small scale with wind and solar generators. As battery technology (energy storage) improves as technology marches forward, this will become more and more plausible for the average consumer.
Travelers will be able to get a WiFi connection just by walking around and connecting to someone’s home router. The home owner won’t begrudge the person — rather, they’ll encourage it, because they’ll be getting paid. Café owners can install them and charge lower rates to encourage more foot traffic – or they can raise them to an appropriate level to keep out “freeloaders” and “cheapskates”.
And of course the rate can be set to 0.
Rates wouldn’t be charged per hour, but rather per byte (kB, mB, whatever). This radical mindset shift in how we think of bandwidth consumption will force everyone to look at how they use (e.g. ‘consume’) data — and how it’s served as well.
People who connect once for 2 minutes to look up a single dictionary word or phrase won’t end up paying the same price as someone who consumes an hour worth of YouTube video — and neither would be charged the same as a hardcore laptop gamer who uses TONs of bandwidth for all the graphics and voice data that he/she consumes.