The way the incentives were originally laid out, "under-served areas" were defined by county, and ISPs got incentives based on bringing broadband coverage to these counties. I live in Ohio, and Time Warner, for example, set up a service area in a small area at the four-corner intersection of four counties. The area consisted of a few dozen homes and businesses. Then they declared that these four "under-served areas" encompassing over 1200 square miles (less than one square mile of which was actually served) now had access to broadband coverage. Time Warner collected their build-out incentives and moved on, and many of those areas are still not covered to this day.
It's shenanigans like this that make people hate cable companies with a burning passion, and as much as I'm not in favor of government intervention, cable companies had their chances to prove themselves good actors in the free market. They ate the carrots already, it's high-time for the stick.