News.com looks into the death of the Indiana bill that would have made it virtually impossible for municipalities to build out networks of any kind: This article is full of the touching concern that incumbents have been offering for the poor taxpayers in the areas they serve:
"When you look at a time when state and local budgets were severely strained, we think there needs to be a system in place that monitors government entry into what could be high-risk telecom investments on the backs of taxpayers," said Mike Marker, a spokesman for SBC in Indiana.
Lobbyists don't get involved in these issues because they're concerned about taxpayers. SBC is concerned about its bottom line and should simply say that it feels that municipal networks threaten their ability to produce a good return for their shareholders. It's likely a true statement.
The back of the Indiana bill doesn't want municipal competition, but it sounds like his office hasn't surveyed what's available and what's not.
I haven't heard any proposals for legislation yet that would impose less than draconian conditions on municipalities or ban their network build-outs altogether. I would expect to see some compromise legislation that might look at aspects of universal availability: if a city or town has broadband (defined as 1 Mbps down, 256 Kbps up in many cases) available from incumbents to fewer than 50 percent of its residents, then perhaps then with certain constraints on funding (bonds, not tax receipts) a network could be planned that allows multiple service providers to use the infrastructure.
It's all or nothing right now.