Internet service in the United States is controlled by only a few large corporations. Lack of competition has kept costs to consumers high while infrastructure upgrades have not been made. Corporations have lobbied to increase their control and rights at the expense of the consumer. Infrastructure paid for by taxpayers has been sold back to them by private companies. Government mandated improvements were agreed upon by these same corporations and expensed to customers for decades without being delivered. Some municipalities have helped facilitate the rise of alternative internet service providers and some areas, such as Chattanooga, have successfully built, delivered, and managed their own local broadband services. The legal barriers and public/private nature of the broadband industry is complicated to navigate, but there has to be some sort of model that could be developed to create alternative, regional broadband solutions to people in the US.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance published this report discussing successful strategies for Broadband Public-Private Partnerships.
The New York Law School published this case study about how Chattanooga TN created it's own local broadband service and discusses lessons learned and the costs involved in the process.
The Connecticut Office of Legislative Research published this report examining how Chattanooga financed their program and how similar initiatives in other locations might work.