Google is slowly rolling out a new phone service that distributes phone calls through Wi-Fi when available. Towns like Chattanooga, Tennessee and Seattle, Washington are implementing improved internet connectivity for their residents. The ideas behind these two things are a match bursting with potential.

Google’s Project Fi is a nascent attempt at broadening a smartphone’s relationship with data. It’s only available on the Nexus 6 at the outset — the device’s SIM card is a necessity for the new service — but the concept could have wide implications. Rather than a single phone making a contractual agreement with a single cellular provider, phones on Project Fi juggle themselves between three access points: Sprint, T-Mobile, and “free, open Wi-Fi networks that do not require any action to get connected” (Google’s FAQ page clarifies this as connections that do not require a password, check-in, and so on). Project Fi devices will connect to whichever of these three options is available and provides the most robust service given the user’s location, and can make calls through each of them (including Wi-Fi). Should a user move from one option to another mid-call — say, moving from a Sprint-heavy area to one better serviced by T-Mobile, or exiting Wi-Fi range — the phone will transfer connections without dropping the call.

The idea of facilitating cooperation between two otherwise competing providers is intriguing enough, but the possibility of making phone calls through Wi-Fi at no additional cost — Project Fi’s service is a flat $20/month — may be the most impactful. Consider the high-speed internet offered in Chattanooga, where the cheapest plan is over ten times faster than the average US connection speed. Consider also Microsoft’s free high-speed Wi-Fi service in the Seattle Center. Efforts like these promote wide (and faster) access to the internet, and consequently provide fertile grounds for Project Fi customers. The relationship could prove reciprocal: if Project Fi proves popular, one of the main selling points would be the convenience of making calls through a Wi-Fi connection that’s already in place and ready to go. This may encourage other localities to implement wider web access to achieve that call-making ease.