The New York Times writes in an unsigned editorial that local governments are filling a void through bringing metro-scale networks into existence: The paper chides its hometown for lagging, partly because of the slow deployment by the city parks' lead vendor, and the lack of a larger vision. They support Wi-Fi as a best-cheapest method of minimal access. They support free or low-cost access through poorer neighborhoods across the city--in places, they write, that "cable and phone line options are out of financial reach."
This is a fairly significant statement by the Times, which covers these ventures extensively in its non-opinion pages. They don't take a stand on ownership or motivation, but these are the kind of words that sometimes become part of business plans and stump speeches.