Aurora, Illinois's aldermen discussed some of the realities of running municipal wireless networks: They looked at Indiana University, which has a similar population (across two campuses) to Aurora; I've interviewed IU's wireless IT manager, and they have an excellent infrastructure. But the aldermen note that IU spends $250,000 per year in support costs. This number is misleading because the WLAN at Indiana is just a part of the overall operations, and not the network over which most data is transferred.
Arlington, Va., wants 10 areas served at no cost: The city proposes that a private firm build out free, lower-speed access for residents and municipal purposes in 10 areas and town, and charge fees for higher speeds or sell ads. The article has the first (and possibly last) mention of a municipally focused broadband firm that's shutting down: "Leesburg-based HighSpeed America began operating municipally backed wireless Internet networks in January. The company is shutting down after less than a year." Never hoid of 'em.
Wilkes-Barre, Penn., will have competing hotzones on top of citywide Wi-Fi: PenTeleData, a regional company, will build Wi-Fi zones across two colleges and nearby housing. They bid on the citywide offering, but didn't think the city's financial terms made sense. PenTeleData has the operator attitude towards Wi-Fi, that it's a mobile technology suited for use in particular environments; the city wants to sell the idea that it's a dial-up replacement or very low-speed DSL. There's a misstatement in the article because the writer is looking at raw Wi-Fi speeds: "Wi-Fi can’t match the speed of Internet access piggybacked over cable lines, but it is generally faster than DSL access over phone lines." Wi-Fi designed for campus-wide coverage typically can beat DSL in particular places, but Wi-Fi designed for municipalities will likely be one-quarter to one-tenth as fast as prevailing ADSL speeds on the download side.