An interesting piece on the opinion page on Philadelphia's municipal plan and Verizon's response: Andy Kessler rightly points out some of the odd parts of the battle between incumbent and municipalities. Slow moving, old school incumbents are trying to push status quo (or even status quo ante), while municipalities appear to be on top of their game, and talking trash.
Philly not entirely quietly hopes that in bridging the digital divide, they also shave millions off their yearly telco bill, taking that money right out of Verizon's pockets and putting it in the hands of the non-profit Wireless Philadelphia. (Another odd point: if Verizon had decided to bid on the network and won, the money would be taken out of one Verizon hand and placed--in smaller quantities--into another.)
Kessler also notes an oft-underreported item: that cities own lots of valuable territory that can be used for infrastructure, like building tops and poles--and has the recently ridiculously increased power of eminent domain. (You have to believe that the Supreme Court acted strangely when the entire political spectrum decries a property-rights decision.)