The New York Times writes:
Municipal wireless networks are cheaper to build than cable or fiber- optic networks and are easier to deploy. According to one study by muniwireless.com, an industry Weblog, more than 120 such networks are up and running around the country, including some that allow public access and others that are exclusively for city services. Nearly 60 other cities and towns have requested proposals from vendors or taken steps toward creating networks.
Rollouts of municipal networks in major metropolitan regions like San Francisco and Philadelphia have attracted attention, but development of community wireless networks holds even greater promise for out-of-the-way and poorer areas. For these smaller cities and towns, the networks are a tool for more efficient municipal operations and a way to provide inexpensive Internet access to residents who could not afford it.