Here's an excellent white paper on the status of U.S. municipal fiber to the premises systems issued this month by the Fiber to the Home Council.
The report lists 57 muni fiber networks that serve both homes and businesses operating as of October 2009 (it adds at least 15 more serve businesses only), noting that "a growing number of municipal governments are taking it upon themselves to build FTTH networks – much in the way that they have previously built roads, sewers and/or electrical systems – as a means of ensuring that local residents have access to necessary services, in this case, Internet connectivity for the 21st Century."
These muni fiber systems typically spring up after private service providers have declined to upgrade their networks or build such systems, the report notes. As such, the white paper concludes, these networks are an important component of the U.S. telecommunications infrastructure and should be encouraged.
That conclusion should be given due consideration by the Federal Communications Communications Commission as it develops a recommendation due to Congress in February 2010 on a national broadband deployment plan.