As the old adage goes: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. AT&T threw its hat in the municipal WiFi market, scoring its first deal with Springfield, Ill. The mesh wireless network will cover about 30 square miles and a point-to-point wireless system in the remainder of the area, offering connectivity across nearly 100 percent of the city. The deal includes a provision for free access to the network at slow speeds, though fees will be incurred for faster tiers of access and additional services. AT&T also plans to earn advertising revenue from the service. AT&T, along with its phone company counterparts, has lobbied in the past to prevent local governments from subsidizing municipal WiFi networks, citing unfair competition. But the muni WiFi train has been moving along whether they like it or not.