The photo doesn't quite convey this, but as you look down the street, you can see these big scary things lined up conspicuously on street corners about every other block. Lets just say they don't blend.
Meanwhile other systems across the country are besieged with service issues and (yes, you guessed it) cost overruns. It turns out that it takes more access points than originally planned to provide adequate in-building coverage. In other cases, subscribers are required to obtain signal boosters at their own expense, presumably offsetting the cost savings for the consumer.
Imagine that. Government gets into what should remain a private enterprise and the result is less effective and more costly. Meanwhile, Chicago and San Francisco are dumping their systems. Good for them.
In Chicago's case "The cost of the implementation of the project and the estimated low number of citizens who would use it were the cited reasons driving this decision." In the case of San Francisco, Earthlink dropped out of the contract because they couldn't figure out how to make it profitable.
Broadband Internet access is not a right of citizenship and these municipal programs are most likely the manifestation of liberal officials with visions of grandeur attempting once again to extend the tentacles of government into yet another aspect of our lives.