Here's the thing...
Here's the thing, I used to work for a major telephone company in the USA. I worked there for many years. Basically, under heavy regulation, business wireline telephone service subsidized residential service, generally speaking. However, everyone paid a fee called universal lifeline. What that is, it's a subsidy that allows the phone company to provide basic service to people who cannot afford it or are on low income...such as my 89 year old grandmother who just gets Social Security.
This system has worked for many many years. So I can see this happening with internet access. I am old enough to remember, and I'm sure many here are as well, during the 1990's dialup is all we had. If you had a 9600pbs modem in 1991, you were smoking. 14,400 or 28,800 in 1995 or so, and the 56k modems in the late 1990's. If you were willing to shell out some money, you could get bonded ISDN service for a whopping 128k speed, metered of course. If you wanted faster, then you could get multiple ISDN lines, or pop for a T1 for $995.00/month for 1.536 megabit service. But in the late 1990's, ADSL came out and it started a feeding frenzy that continues to this day with various implementations and advancements. For 10 years through the 2000's, I had 6 mbit ADSL and it was fine for me. Cable modems from the cable company came out in late 1996 or early 1997. For a long time, my mom had 384k internet, and that was considered broadband.
So, you will understand when I say that anything faster than dialup I consider broadband. The 10/1 minimum for people who cannot afford it otherwise is actually a good idea. The people who can't afford it otherwise probably don't have computers that can handle the applications that use the high bandwidth network anyways. I'm talking about streaming video, games, and other applications. General web browsing is fine.
In this day and age, I call it high speed network access. A 10 mbps datalink was a standard LAN speed back in the day, and it will suffice for most things, especially for someone who has nothing at all. With the things that I do, I can bury a 100 mbps network connection. So I can see ISPs such as AT&T, Verizon, and Qwest charging a little extra to subsidize those who cannot afford internet access, and still turn a profit.
No taxpayer dollars needed.
It worked for regular POTS phone service, and I see no reason why it wouldn't work for internet access. Companies are for making money, and asking for taxpayers to help foot the bill is just being plain greedy.
Disclaimer: I own sock in one of more of the companies that have been mentioned.