Re: There is up to 80Mb down in my area via BT and FTTC....
" the UK tax payer has been paying for BT's infrastructure upgrades since before it was sold "
That's not quite true. Post Office Telecoms was cash positive, it was a net contributor to the exchequer - in fact the growth of the network was constrained by too much of the revenue going into government coffers instead of being reinvested.
The GPO subsidised the taxpayer - not the other way round. State ownership of the industry (and Cable and Wireless too) was used to keep tax bills down.