No: The Register asks whether fiber would trump Wi-Fi in municipal plans. The answer is clearly no, because fiber serves backbones and businesses and incumbents. Wi-Fi serves end users. We'll likely see more plans in which fiber is a component of a Wi-Fi build out, such as Boston's recently released task force report recommending a fiber ring buildout.
In areas with dark fiber owned by companies that are willing to lease the strands, building a fiber network might require only small amounts of new trenching and line laying; that's apparently the case in Boston, and might be the case here in Seattle, where a fiber RFI is out with a lot of interest expressed. (For Seattle, Wi-Fi is an optional extra in the plan.)
Berkeley's IT director describes Wi-Fi as "cheap and quick" versus fiber's "expensive and long term" and that is precisely the tradeoff (as noted to the San Francisco Chronicle). He might add that there's another tradeoff. Fiber to the home has to be built with money raised from residents, unless a private telecom like Verizon puts its dollars in. (Verizon is building out FTTH on a massive scale, but they don't commit to every home in a city, which is what a municipality would want.)
Wi-Fi, at the moment, can be had for "free," in the sense that no city expenditures have to be put in place to get EarthLink, MobilePro, or MetroFi to build a network for you, to name the three leading firms. The companies will only come into areas they think they can turn a buck, and the first two will charge residents for access. So that's a compelling part of Wi-Fi at the moment.
The Register quotes the IT director from the director's notes (but provides no link to these notes) that there's no successful economic model for running municipal Wi-Fi networks. That might be a very specific comment, in that there's been no time yet to see what models might work or fail.
Fiber to the home is infinitely preferable to Wi-Fi to the home, and I can get executives off the record in every kind of wire and wireless industry to admit that. However, the cost is so prohibitive, that Wi-Fi becomes a "best worst" alternative. It's far better than dial-up, and is the only reasonably cost-effective way to spread mass mobile access. Cell data networks work well, but are too expensive for average users and most small businesses (unless a very few employees have access), and their uplink speeds are still far too slow. (There should be no debate about how well mobile, outdoor Wi-Fi networks can work at a metro-scale; the indoor use is still where there's FUD and reasonable arguments to be made.)
Fiber is a large-scale infrastructure item that can benefit a city or town's competitiveness regardless of what kind of entity installs it because when tied in with very long-haul fiber, it allows even the remotest town to engage in the global economy. Fiber lines are starting to be laid in quite rural areas, because there's a connection between lower livable wages and the ability to bring in thousands of phone lines for companies that want to keep customer service or ordering operations in the U.S. (Where I once lived in Maine, MBNA America brought in thousands of jobs that paid awfully well compared to most local alternatives. Fiber was the key there, too.)