Cable companies negotiated a trade-off years ago. In return for laying the cable infrastructure and maing community access channels available for public use, they were granted the right to be the sole licensed cable network provider in their area. This was supposedly to offset the "community service" they were doing by putting in the infrastructure--which of course they were also going to charge for.
A few years back the free community channel was made no longer mandatory--it's an option if they choose to offer it. They also are free to NOT offer "ala carte (meaning you pay for only the channels you want) because every time that is brought up in legislature they spend hundreds of million lobbying Congress against it.
So now you are offered those sweet bundles that require over $100 a month--rather than being able to economically buy say your internet and one cable channel you like. It's all or nothing if you want the "savings".
The only competition is they have to sign a contract with the local municipalitiesthey service and bidding for the contracts is somewhat competitive--though it's really hard to out one and replace them (As in, "Hey--we built that stuff, we're taking most of it with us if we leave"). So few competitors can usually replace them economically--the development cost for them is higher.
Ironically, we give the cable companies all this exclusions and benefits so they can build a network "for us". Guess it isn't really ours after all.
So when the city built it's free internet the cable company said, "Hey you have created competition for us while we are contracted to be the area provider here--take it down.".
Now the city was buying the access from the contracted cable company--they just opened up their wireless network and spread hubs around the city so people could connect--same thing truck stops, libraries and fast food restaurants do nw--only it was strong enough to reach residential homes (by design). the goal was to make same service internet equally accessible to all residents regardless of income.
Can't have that can we?