"I believe communities should have the right to choose for themselves. They’re the most affected by the decision and should have the right to make it." James BallerBaller, who has worked on municipal broadband networks for many years, points out that when a city asks a cable provider to upgrade their service, they are often turned down because the cable company does not think it is a good use of their capital, but, if the city then decides to do their own network, the cable company fights them in court.
"The commercial broadband providers want to not have their cake and not eat it too." Bob GarfieldThe large ISPs have succeeded in passing legislation blocking public broadband networks in nineteen states and they are currently trying to do the same in Kansas, perhaps triggered by Google Fiber's presense there.
(Note that the FCC may try to overturn turn those state laws).
The Baller-Herbst web site also has links to a lot of resources related to community broadband.