Extending range of WiFi links?

I have a big old solid panel C Band 8 ft diameter dish which is not doing much these days. I live just outside of any areas from which I can get high speed Internet and we were wondering if it might be possible to extend the range of standard lap top computers to pick up signals from the nearby (15km or so) town. I could repoint the big dish and fit it with a suitable receive/transmit antenna and, presumably, increase gain quite a bit for both send and receive signals. Do any of you good folks have any ideas about doing this, in particular what sort of range extension might one expect. I know that there are limits on power which can be transmitted and this would limit what could be done but I am only just outside the range of existing systems so it might be possible. Any links or advice would be happily received. My son was recently in the local city and found, to his surprise, that there were lots of signals found by his new lap top which were open for use by anyone. I assume this is an error on the part of the subscribers. I haven't seen any comments about this on the newsgroups I usually check and wonder how common it is. Alan C

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