The town of Wilson, N.C. is currently mulling doing its own municipal fiber project. It has already built 30 miles of the network to link together city agencies and the city-owned utilities and sees the promise in a high-speed network throughout the town. Their major roadblock is that state law prohibits government from competing with private business. The solution they should be looking at is a UTOPIA-style model which has already been signed off on by the state's courts.
The most interesting part of the article, however, is citing a study done by Carnegie Mellon University and MIT showing the benefits of broadband. Communities with a high broadband penetration rate experienced job growth that was a full percent higher, larger increases in the number of businesses in their city (especially technology companies), and had property values grow up to 6 percent within a year of broadband availability. Yes, Virginia, the project doesn't need to directly break even to be considered an overall economic success.