Read the senate bill: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2009/Bills/Senate/PDF/S1004v1.pdf
I hate the telcos as much as anyone, but this bill says that when the city enters into the communications business, it should have to pay all the same taxes and fees as private business would, and be burdened with the same oversight. They also say that other fees the citizens pay (trash, water etc) cannot be used to fund the communications business.
I don't see how this bill is unfair at all. The telcos are essentially saying "If we didn't have to pay any fees to the city to provide service, we could be competetive."
If government wants to set up a business, they should have go compete with other businesses on a level playing field. If municipalities want to open up their own ISP, I am all for that, but then they should stop collecting fees and taxing the other ISPs they are competing with. Municipal government should not be using taxes and fees to provide a commercial advantage for themselves. I think the "level playing field" is actually a good title for this bill, and not an unreasonable request.
We're all hopped up on this because it's something that's near and dear to us, but imagine if the city set up a taxi service, but then did not have to pay gasoline tax or hackney licenses. Obviously it benefits the public who uses taxis, but is it fair to the taxi drivers and cab companies that they now have to charge more than the city taxis.