It's untrue that lobbyists are trying to kill Philly wireless plan, as this article's headline reads: Instead, incumbent telcos and cable firms are trying to kill all competitive broadband offerings and extend monopoly powers beyond their traditional base into a field they've been struggling to own since about 1996. It has little to do with Philly's plan in particular: the language in the Pennsylvania bill is from April 2003. No one should be hung up on the Philadelphia segment. This bill will prevent even tiny towns from installing their own for-fee (even fee recovery) networks if the incumbents serve that town and if they are engaged in a modernization plan.
It's fascinating to see that having failed over 10 years to meet goals that were set, the incumbents have been told, okay, well, just another 10 years before we think about breaking the monopoly and allowing better competition.
My take is that municipalities should be allowed to build infrastructure on a vendor-neutral basis that they charge recovery fees to private carriers and others to operate the network side. You could have non-profits charging $5 per month to lower-income residents through subsidies and Comcast and Verizon charging $19.95 per month as an add-on to the phone or cable bill. It's all logical, quite literally.
What the incumbents have done now is radicalize the issue so that towns and cities will be more likely to demand to serve as their own ISP instead of working on vendor-neutral basis to allow all comers.