The more I travel internationally and across the USA the more aware I am of why we lag, and why our broadband access to the Internet is challenging. In the USA we really have a patchwork of connectivity ranging from ISPs, to cable operators and the telcos all connecting their version of broadband to the Internet. That's why we lag in rapid deployment of faster Internet, or have pockets of the country with amazinging, blazingly fast service like FIOS, inconsistent AT&T uVerse experience, it depends where you are speeds and consistency with Comcast, or nothing buy negatives from Time Warner users.
In most other countries I find there's the national telco, such as BT, France Telecom, Telefonica, Portugal Telecom, etc. who build out the Internet, then let others ride on it. The difference, one experience. Take for example in France. My winemaker friends have broadband over DSL from both Wanadoo from Orange and SFR from Vivendi. Both have built out networks across France, but at some point the connectivity interconnects, and the result is I have a very high quality experience over ADSL that no one in the USA really every experiences. Soon, the wine village of Montpeyroux will even have fiber to the home, a far cry sooner than I'll see that from my cable company here in San Diego County.
If the USA's FCC and President Obama is really serious about better Internet access so schools, homes and business all begin to advance, we'll take a national look at improving things, build out one consistent experience and make the 'Net just work right. Sure, smaller countries make it easier, but we can do it too. We just have to want to take things seriously.