Sascha Meinrath of CUWiN and Esme Vos of Muniwireless.com offer complementary insights on Indiana's frightening telecom bill: The bill in Indiana has elements that are familiar to me in my reading of Pennsylvania's and Wisconsin's legislation. The short story is that Indiana's law has the least protections for municipalities trying to offer wireless, telecom, and cable services. In fact, just the mere intention by a commercial operator to offer service within nine months--no commitment needed, nor do they have to build out in that period--scotches any municipality's plans.
Sascha Meinrath provides a detailed analysis of the bill's provisions noting how high the bar is set for municipalities and how easy it will be for incumbents to prevent municipal networks even in cases where one might imagine they'd be allowed. Sascha cites a case in Kentucky (via a colleague of his) that is precisely the kind of delay he's talking about.
Esme Vos looks at job creation and how municipal networks help communities keep or bring in new jobs. Telecom and broadband go hand in hand with the needs of companies. [links via GigaOm who also provides a link to the laws in various states prohibiting municipal broadband and related services.]