An article from Business 2.0 about a small town who got fed up waiting for the telcos to offer broadband in their community:
Oppedahl and about a dozen of his neighbors bought it last year for approximately $5,000. Then they scooped up cable modems, routers, and other equipment (usually for pennies on the dollar on eBay) and spent the past 10 months setting up the first subscriber-owned DSL co-op in America. While it all might seem unremarkable to outsiders -- it serves 12 homes at average DSL data speeds -- it does offer a compelling script for rural towns that don't want to wait until the next ice age to join the 21st century.
This isn't unlike the UTOPIA project in spirit, although UTOPIA is somewhat larger in scale (500,000 end users).