Ars Technica has a short article up about the growth of municipal networks, but principally a nice little 'hey check out this website' (http://www.muninetworks.org/communitymap)
The whole scenario around municipal broadband networks in a hopefully unbiased nutshell: Increasing numbers cities and counties seem to be getting frustrated with what they see as the lack of progress in broadband speeds from their incumbent provider(s) (even after incumbent provider(s) have been approached requesting faster speeds) and are deciding to do it themselves. Chattanooga, Tennessee has become the poster child for the idea, able to offer 1Gbps to users and businesses at competitive prices ($150 pcm.)
I'm curious how the feeling is on NANOG about shifting such provision towards municipal instead of corporations? I guess a rough summary of the competing views I've heard so far are:
+ It's fair and valid competition in the market, which is encouraging major ISPs to innovate instead of resting on their laurels and trying to do the bare minimum necessary to maintain their position and profits, an attitude that is stifling other economic growth?
- Local government is sticking its nose in where it shouldn't, providing unfair competition and stifling normal market processes. Municipalities are operating on the false belief that large bandwidth will automatically bring silicon valley to them, without understanding the bigger picture. That it's time, money and resources better spent on tax incentives or other means of encouraging businesses.