CYaBro:kiwirock: You're right about some places not having adequate cell coverage.
I went to Karamea a few months back and nothing worked with mobiles or sticks. They were lucky enough to have ADSL.
It'd be good for accommodation places in more remote areas.
I looked at these kind of partnership hotspot things for just in my neighbourhood, but sadly it's always on low powered devices. I have Ubiquiti long range units (1-4 Watts) that let me walk 1KM away and still use my iPod, it'd be great getting firmware on to something like those!
You can do what we've done and connect a high powered/outdoor wireless access point to port 1,2 or 3 on the router running the Zappie firmware. (You have to enable this via the Zappie portal)
Then just configured it as an open wireless network, with the same SSID or different if you want, and it works. People connecting to the outdoor AP still get the Zappie landing page etc.
Yes that's the best way, just connect an outdoor high power AP to router. I could also compile some zappie firmware for ubiquity ap's if required if anyone wants it, but at the end of the day its probably better just to use them with stock firmware and same ssid as CYaBro mentioned and connect to ports in back of router, this way you can also have multiple outdoor ap's connected.