It's not always fashionable to say good things about U.S. Broadband — but I do want to say one thing:
Cable. I've been traveling alot lately, and while the U.S. has less broadband penetration than it should, the one thing we do have is more cable broadband than DSL.
And let's just be clear about this – Cable really is much better. The network designs are better than DSL, the technology is better, the lack of PPPoE is better. Just better.
Some of the credit is due to late 1970s FCC policy, which let cable out of its regulatory prison. That's why we at least have a duopoly in broadband, for example. Alot of other countries kept cable buried to protect broadcast.
In addition, my guess is that there's way more bandwidth that the Cable Cos can coax out of that coax. If they would just give up on, say, half of those ridiculous and unwatched channels, and throw the rest at internet bandwidth, cable might be in a position to bury the Bells long-term. Especially if cable got serious about the business market.
But like all companies, cable has its existing revenue streams, established ways of doing business, and is slow to change. But if I were running a cable company, I know what I'd do.