What, they have a point. If companies were competing freely, instead of this messed up system of little fiefdoms we have now, you can bet that you'd see Comcast and Time Warner trying to outdo each other, while AT&T and Verizon raced to shove fiber everywhere. Remember - competition is good for the consumer. It forces companies to innovate or die, while keeping prices low.
But as it stands now, you basically have "The cable company" or "The phone company". Even independent DSL providers are still using the copper run by The Phone Company, and often costs more than if you got DSL from them directly.
Even the Economist points out that this stimulus package probably won't have the effect Obama is hoping for because the companies will simply sit back and wait for the government to pay them for the upgrades they would have had to pay for themselves.
The way I see it, the only way things will change is through good old capitalist competition. Someone needs to really step in with a reliable WiMAX solution for about $25/mo, and seriously start sucking business away from the DSL/Cable duopolies. In fact I'm rather surprised the cell phone companies aren't trying to jump into the residential data market. They already have the little notebook dongles, just shove that into an antenna you set on your roof (for better reception) and plug it into your router. Better yet, offer residential phone service over this as well, and really put a dent in the landline and cable telephony companies.