I'm thinking in particular about the rule that encryption is banned on amateur bands, which really makes it not suitable for general internet access. More sensible people just ignore those rules, and that creates animosity with the above-mentioned group.
2m could get you dialup speeds over a pretty wide radius with some cheap equipment. Get a directional antenna and a hilltop repeater and you'd be in even better shape. The FCC absolutely could shave off a small chunk of the 2m band for encryption-OK Internet links (say, as a way to link up smaller wifi nets), but you're right, most hams would kick and scream even though they all just sit idle on whatever local repeater. And I'd have a hard time blaming them (I'm a ham myself) because they do not want to set a precedent of losing any band space.
High-power wifi is allowed with an amateur radio license, but because you're operating as an amateur licensee you're not allowed to use encryption, so you can't use it to e.g. bring Internet access to a remote RV park.
As it is right now, it makes packet radio pretty much useless, because you can't use it for internet access, since you'd most likely end up accessing TLS services.
But that's what the amateur service is, it's people playing with radios because they think radios are cool. Because it's mostly real-time conversations, the bands aren't insanely congested; if I tried to fetch my email over an encrypted signal on the 40m band, I'm going to tie up a big chunk of the available frequencies for possibly hours on end (cough yacht owners running WINLINK cough).
You'd have to eliminate the "no commercial business" rule too, because fetching your mining operation's email looks pretty similar to browsing ham forums when everything is encrypted.
This article almost exclusively deals with unlicensed, spectrum and consumer grade hardware.
Sort of like sending Morse Code over a radio hooked to a 9 volt battery. Twenty words per minute seems slow until that's all you have.
The other important point to take away from the article is that most of humanity is in slow/no internet regions.
I was going to run the numbers for Elon Musk's 4000 satellite low-latency global gigabit pizza-box phased-array rooftop antenna internet, but I think that's even more dependent on those conditions. SpaceX is shooting for a new hardware spin every 5 years.
Musk's 4000 satellite low latency global gigabit
pizza box phased array rooftop antenna internet
By 1901 we had a global network: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_communications_cable... (all this for ~10–12 words per minute.)
And the rest of the article is naive at best and seems to ignore that PTP radio has been used in telecoms for decades.
Hard problems have a way of cropping up in lots of places...
I think these definitions need a bit of a rehaul, flying baloons are much more low tech then WiFi antenna IMO.
I remember that ~15 years ago building these sort of networks involved various experiments with hooking up various home-grown radio modems or gutted laser pointers to serial ports, but today the technology of choice is either WiFi or commercial microwave PTP links operating in unlicensed spectrum (which are order of magnitude more expensive than WiFi, but have significantly better performance, also unlicensed spectrum usable for such links is not available in every country).
Also, I'd imagine if the people setting up the network leave, others will have an easier time maintaining if the network uses a very popular link layer.
Additionally there is a whole raft of IoT enabled devices making this possible too - think the future is bright :)