why the wimax route may not be so great..
look, im not going to say wireless communications cant be a good alternative for something but we are no longer in the world of just DSL/phone vs cable internet/phone. It is now all or nothing, with triple play or greater, either you offer the best package or you could lose big.
See, here's what I see and feel..
route 1, investment in fiber placed underground..
this is good, even in highly rural areas requiring possibly remote sites, once its in and tested, its just a matter of keeping it up. Since its out of the elements (probably fed thru a tube in the ground), it would be easy to test by simply taking an analysis with test equipment of how far a break is along the line, then going to that point, taping the new fiber to the end of the old and feeding it thru to replace it. My point, anywhere, fiber, if designed right, is the permanent solution. Even in the north of VT, NH & ME where there could be 8 feet of snow on the ground in the winter.
Generally, undisturbed, one way to get the most out of fiber is to set a alarm when it comes close to its threshold for signal quality, this can get you through the winter months.
Ok, this said, fiber delivers.. decades and decades of tomarrow ready network which maintained properly would be able to deliver the best network.
route 2, wireless transmission (for at least broadband anyway).
The problem with wireless is no matter what technology is used, elements often unintended can introduce problems within a network that may barely, if at all, be able to compete with FTTH or cable. All they have to offer is a combo package and this network and its profit could be in turmoil.
Imagine spending a few billion on this network and losing just about all the customers to the competition. Its important to take a long look and see if this is really worth it.
For a perfect example, a few years ago I was enjoying Verizon Wifi, I don't know if it is still around but if one had Verizon DSL, they could also enjoy the wireless connections, this was in NYC. I don't know for sure exactly how it worked, but it was probably, basically, a DSL modem and wireless router on top of select phone booths. I can tell you, right near it, 1/2 block from it, the signal was there, then it wasn't, then it was there again at times. Wireless works great when it works but it doesn't always work that great. The worst thing about wireless is that issues often out of the providers control cause signals to come and go.
There is a major difference between wireless going up against wireless and wireless going up against FTTP or cable.