Our frequencies above 1 GHz, Worldwide, are prime targets for business telecoms who want to expand their broadband wireless offerings as more and more wireless devices including smart phones and tablet computers. The United States FCC has made this a very profitable process by selling off blocks of spectrum for billions of dollars to cellular and wireless providers.
Building a mesh network node, using a converted Linksys router or Ubiquiti Networks devices, seems to me to be the best way to utilize the frequencies in the 900 MHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.4 GHz, and 5.8 GHz bands. As Jim demonstrated in his discussion, these nodes have great utility as base station radio that allows the wide band transmission of voice, video, and data, but also can be used mobile and portable to provide links to areas not serviced by broadband services. With the Ubiquiti Networks equipment the cost of entry for most hams is minimal - and the utility is great.
A mesh network in your community also has the benefit of building a community of local hams for a very low cost, and it has the Internet digital flair to attract the next generation of hams to our community as it combines computers, networking, and radio into a nice low cost package. In Austin, they added a telephone like system so that each ham can call another on the network using a unique call sign telephone number entered into a voice over IP telephone using an Asterisk open source phone system built on a computer like the Beaglebone Black or the Raspberry Pi.
I am not suggesting that we replace the other operating modes in amateur radio that we love. I am suggesting that even if you are an old time CW buff, a mesh network node at your house, is cheap, has great utility, even if its only purpose is to relay signals to other hams in the network thereby extending the network's range. If we use our microwave channels by low cost mesh networking, then we will save our bands for future generations of hams. This seems like a very reasonable long term and low cost investment for hams to make.
73, Eric 4Z1UG