As the first part of the article alludes to, states, or even the federal government should start regulating broadband as a utility. Maybe not as solidly as the have for say, electricity, but actually put forward a grand scheme to get everyone connected. It worked for rural electrification, and, for most of a century, it worked for telephone service. Private industry investment is predicated on the investment/return ratio, and large, publicly traded telecommunications companies are not concerned with long-term, 20-50 year, return on investment. They're concerned with next quarter's earnings statements. Google, despite pocketing more per day in profit than any of 2000 (well paid by our standards, and combined) other people in my county will see in a year, is not immune to this. I honestly wonder if not for the REA and TVA, and the the quasi-nationalization of AT&T/Bell, whether even today electrical and phone service would be as wide spread as it is. My own great grandparents could not get electricity to their house, despite living less than a mile away from a hydro-electric dam until the REA, back in the 1930's.
With regards to municipal and publicly owned affordable, universal, and open broadband service, I think the first step is to try and coerce private companies to invest and comply. They will not do so, because it's perverse to look to the long-term gains to the well being of the company (or society); after all, once they declare bankruptcy, yet again, and are denied a despised government bailout, they can look forward to achieving success in the face of uncertainty by spinning out their most profitable and least profitable divisions and getting bought out in a lightly regulated merger with a former rival *cough* Worldcom *cough*. Once this failure is complete, despite the protestations and unfulfilled promises of incumbent providers, a municipality should have the right to build out a broadband network in lack of or in competition with a publicly traded or private company, if that is the will of the community. If profit cannot decide that such affordable universal access is necessary, perhaps utility can. I'd be happy to pay $80/month and have an additional $133/year added to my property tax for reliable 50-100Mb/s broadband, and I'd profit from it (compared to what I currently have).