While it is not posted online yet, the clerk's office of Nebraska's unicameral legislature confirms that Governor Dave Heineman signed into law LB 645 this afternoon. The bill establishes an 18-member Broadband Services Task Force. The task force has 18 months to study the effects on competition of municipal broadband provision and is specifically charged to look at the supply and the demand of broadband in Nebraska before formulating recommendations to the legislature (see pages 6-7 of the bill for the full scope of its charter.) In the meantime, public power (a very big deal in Nebraska) is sidelined from the broadband game. Specifically, political subdivisions of the state and public power entities that were not authorized to offer "broadband services, Internet services, telecommunications services, or video services" by January 1, 2005 have lost the ability to get in the game. In effect, Nebraska citizens have a moratorium on new municipal broadband efforts and a promise that the issue will come back in force in early 2007.
I seem to recall reading a very good piece related to this issue. Oh yes, here it is.