Asking the Stupid Questions Since 1971
Perhaps this points the way, to the next step.
(and yes, I'm still working on this post)
Some people like to argue that "intellectual property" is just exactly like real property and should have the same protection. Let's all remember that the law protects the sidewalks too.
— Edward Felten
A dozen or so neighbors bought the DSLAM for approximately $5,000. With the addition of modems, routers, and various other components (some of which they bought on eBay), the Ruby Ranch folks were able to build their own broadband service. The Coop now offers DSL service to all homes in the Ruby Ranch neighborhood. Their industriousness means they don't have to wait until the next decade to be "always on".
You don't necessarily need to be rural to make use of this technique. Your friendly neighborhood association could do the same. (I'm saying that as if I talk to my neighbors.)