One of the major stumbling blocks for any UK government if it decided to throw money at the telecoms market to ensure that a national Next Generation Access (NGA) infrastructure reached all towns and villages in the UK is the various rules on state aid.
Areas of the UK that satisfy the current rules have seen aid and projects from their relevant Regional Development Agency for example some of the projects by the Scottish Executive and Welsh Assembly. These usually hinge on assessments of whether market forces are failing to operate, which for some parts of counties mean they are passed over as the majority of a county has no problems with regards to choice or quality of broadband services.
The Universal Service Obligation proposed by Lord Carter will need EU approval or law changes, and going by the short comments that have appeared on the NASDAQ website from Europe's top antitrust official to a Dutch parliament committee these changes may be relatively straightforward. The UK government needs to keep a close eye on what other members of the EU are doing, otherwise we may find that other countries are suddenly much more attractive for firms that are reliant on cheap and plentiful broadband.