Russell Shaw at Corante interviews Chaska's IS Manager: Chaska spent about $800,000 in initial capital outlay, and used a privately sourced $1,000,000 loan to cover early expenses. They'll repay that loan within a year--they launched in Nov. 2004--and expect to have a return on their investment within 18 months of launch. The service has about 2,000 of 18,000 residents subscribing across the town's 250 square miles, all of which offer coverage. The town stayed under the radar, avoiding major incumbent complaints. The town expects to grow to 35,000 residents within five years.
The FCC's Wireless Broadband Task Force avoids any mention of the word municipal in their initial report. It's a good report, encouraging the growth of broadband wireless, but all of the projects they mention are private or public/private in which a city provides some resources or a contract to a private firm. There are no public-only efforts mentioned.
The Wall Street Journal connects the dots between wires and muni network opposition: Lee Gomes mildly opines that opposition to municipal networks, particularly wireless ones, are entrenched in incumbents desire to keep making their wire base pay. Philadelphia's position has been misrepresented, the city says, because it plans to make municipal utility poles and other access available, but contract out the building, operation, and risk to private enterprise.