Columnist Steven Levy alerts the mass audience reading Newsweek at the efforts by incumbents to restrict municipal broadband: Levy argues in favor of underserved communities and self-determination, although he's not pushing the idea that municipal networks are ideal and will all work, either. His key sentence: "They [incumbents] argue that taxpayer-funded competition makes the marketplace unfair (ironic, since those firms owe their dominance to government-granted monopolies)." I would also add that many municipal utilities that operate broadband entities are taxpayers, too: not all government operates tax-free, which is a meme spread by the anti-municipal forces.
I'd also argue here that Levy's comment in the intro about free and low-cost Internet service is particularly interesting: most of the municipal wireless efforts will offer a minimal but good level of bandwidth at a price commensurate with the speed. If you can only get slow DSL-like speeds for $20/month, then aren't you a natural when you crave more for $40 to $60/month multi-Mbps speeds from incumbent DSL and cable providers?
The fiber-plus plans directly challenge incumbents in a way that the next two to four years of wireless networks cannot. (Although many fiber efforts I've read about offer wholesale networks, not retail ones, giving an in for incumbents and others.) The incumbents are ratcheting up speed rapidly to compete in their duopolies and against coming 3G, broadband wireless, and WiMax flavors. In two years, cable speeds of 20 Mbps down and 2 Mbps or up won't be unusual or terribly expensive, and you can buy ADSL running at 6 Mbps down/768 Kbps up as a business service for $100 per month in Seattle (unlimited bandwidth).
There's a case to be made that municipal wireless makes a market by hooking people on speed that they have to switch to wireline providers to fulfill.