Actually an argument for a public utility to own the last mile
> Broadband requires eye-watering investments but it has never been very profitable on its own, requiring cross subsidies from telephone or media services.
This is an argument to create a national or a series of state-level agencies or public utilities chartered to do nothing but build and run the fiber to the home. Then all the media companies could compete to deliver the goods, while the maintenance of the fiber itself would be completely free of the various forms of stealthy monopolistic behaviors. The utility would simply be responsible for maximising throughput, with source-agnostic quality of service.
Public utilities and government agencies are better at handling these kinds of infrastructure commitments, and are (one hopes) less likely to sully with the cross subsidies. What governments are _not_ good at is participating in markets and trying to be businesses. The plain fact is that the last mile of fiber to the home is an infrastructure problem that could be solved relatively quickly with a government commitment to an authority with the capability to make this happen, rather than throw money after rat holes trying to bribe media companies into doing this.
There is an analogy worth pondering. The rail systems in here in the US _could_ have been turned around in the late 1960s, in such a way that today's passenger trains would be fast and efficient. At that time the railroads were all teetering on bankruptcy and were bailed out with forced mergers and various other means, including some nationalization - Amtrak was one unworkable result. The alternative that would have made sense for the future would have been for the US to nationalize the rails but not the companies, turning the rails into an analogue of the Federal Highway System and allowing all rail companies to compete on service of the actual trains. As demand grew, the rail system could have been grown in the same way.