What others are doing
The Institute for Local Self Reliance is a great source of information about what communities throughout the US are doing to take local control of their Internet access. They also have an affiliated site called MuniNetworks.org which recently wrote an article about us.
The Broadband Communities magazine is another great source of current information abut what communities around the world are doing and they have written this primer entitled What Broadband Fiber Can Do for Your Community
There are a number of community networks in Massachusetts:
Norwood has Norwood Light a community operated network in a town that has both Comcast and Verizon as alternatives.