Remember RCN Corp.? The digital video-phone-data company wanted to wire Philadelphia so it could compete with Comcast ten years ago, but was shocked when then-Mayor Rendell and City Council leaders said they didn't want competition for their hometown favorite, Comcast Corp. Wasn't to be.

Last week, RCN reported higher sales, and pointed to Philadelphia and Chicago as two of its fastest-growing markets. "It's almost a green-field opportunity in Chicago and Philly today. So we're excited about that," programming chief Richard Ramlall told investors.

What's he talking about? RCN was shut out of the city, but it didn't leave the region. It's gone into Upper Darby, Ridley Park, and other off-Main Line boroughs and townships of Delaware County, where 24,000 of the nearly 100,000 households now take RCN service. Plans are to double that total vs market leader Comcast, said RCN market  manager John Filipowicz. "We're absolutely gaining," adding basic cable customers as well as premium users, he told me. The company rolled out its all-digital Crush service -- more channels at the same price -- last month.

RCN also has a Philadelphia line, but it's targeted to business. "We won't be able to offer cable (in the city) unless we get a franchise. And things would have to open up" politically, Filipowicz said.

That was Wednesday. On Thursday, Verizon said it's going to try to offer its FiOS service in Philadelphia, in compeititon with Comcast, with backing from Councilman Darrell Clark and Mayor Nutter. If FiOS opens the door, maybe RCN will slip in too. FiOS story by Inquirer's Bob Fernandez here. Verizon statement here.