Derek Slater and Tim Wu think that customers could build their own fibre connections to the net. Here is their paper. I haven’t read it yet but as I mentioned some months ago it sounds like an excellent idea. I have had a related idea here.
[Update: OK, I have now read the paper. It is excellent. Of course, I would think that as it seems to follow the line of thinking in my 2006 CEDA report. Customer-owned fibre is just one option in a raft of suggestions as to how to get local provision of broadband in place. The authors note that the chief barrier is likely to be the availability of what they call an Open Point of Presence connection to the Internet. That is the barrier we face in Australia. But they also argue that a tax credit for broadband investments by customers may be a good funding model. I agree.]