"On a small scale, and heavily subsidised by government"
It looks you came late to the party. In 2005 , the internet was already very large, a lot of people already had ADSL always-on connections, and companies like Facebook took great advantage of it. Facebook would have never worked in a POTS modem internet.
Anyway the communication infrastructure is still mostly paid by telcos and governments. Here the deploy of fiber outside telco-remunerative areas is still heavily subsidized by the government - aka taxpayers money, it's not being paid nor by Facebook nor by Google or whatever entity makes billions filling it with ads, especially since they also pay near to no taxes here.