Yesterday's CNET notes that "Companies don't seem interested in building public broadband infrastructure for small towns, so municipalities will have to get creative."
I have found the idea of blanketing cities with WiFi to be a stupid idea. Just as cell phone systems have blank areas, so too does WiFi. In any case, there is no need for WiFi in most areas: walk down my street with a WiFi detector and every second home is broadcasting an SSID. Stand on any street corner in the business section, and you'll pick up a half-dozen SSIDs. There is no need for blanket coverage, because you're providing a service that's unneeded.
Instead, provide spotty coverage. As a service to its citizens, municipalities should set up free WiFi hotspots at their facilities:
* City Hall
* Libraries and community centers
* Sports complexes
* Police and fire stations
* City-owned airports, docks, and so on.