Larry Abramson of All Things Considered weighs in with a report on Philly Wi-Fi: The governor hasn't signed the bill yet, and NPR adds their somewhat objective two cents. It's so objective that they give Verizon a little too much of a bully pulpit. Verizon complains that the municipal government has enormous cost advantages, but that's a blind: Verizon will have a 2015 requirement for 100-percent access in Pennsylvania, which gives them plenty of time to push back on that requirement in years to come. Philadelphia wants to offer 100-percent access by 2006. There's no way that Verizon could build out such a service profitably in that time at any rate that would make sense to residents.
I've said it several times during this discussion, but Verizon would love to avoid building infrastructure. They'd love to sell logical service on a single bill--that is, the Internet dial tone not the Internet copper and wireless. It's incredibly cheap for Verizon to add, say, 50,000 customers on infrastructure they don't have to finance, build, and maintain. In fact, the Verizon rep said as much: cities can raise money more cheaply and aren't subject to taxation. Thus Verizon would benefit from cities building Internet infrastructure resold to Verizon on a cost-plus basis, as well as to all comers.