I'm involved in a project in my town to start and expand a municipal network. Do you have any more info, links and stuff to help with that?
I was not directly involved in the planning or implementation of HCS (the second link above), but I participated in the community meetings and talked to voters and such to get it passed on the ballot. At the time I worked for one of the towns larger employers and was sick and tired of the poor service choices available.
I am sure you can contact HCS and eventually get put in contact with someone that was part of it all to give you more information.
Edit: Highland, IL is a bit unusual due to the fact that until deregulation forced it, the only place to buy electricity was from the city. Most towns do not maintain their own utilities. The benefit this provided to the fiber project was that the city already had rights to poles and easements to run the fiber.
Edit 2: Highland, IL was severely under served for internet. For telephones service, the ILECs kept selling the town around until it eventually ended up with Verizon, and they don't want it. The infrastructure was never upgraded over the years nor was the CO equipment. There is not not even any 15 year old DSL available, because there is no equipment in the CO for it.
For cable service, the town did get cable internet from Charter back in late 1999 along with all the other towns in the area. But like the phone companies, never upgraded the network afterwards. In 2007/2008 when the HCS project was still in meetings with residents trying to decide a path forward, Charter sent people to tell the residents what a huge mistake it was and waste of taxpayer money. But for some reason, the next month the town was swamped with Charter vehicles working on the lines and within months DOCSIS 2 level of service was finally available.