Anyone remember Gordon Gekko's "greed is good"?
the companies seem to still follow this idea and have no idea how much is enough.
Anyway, the whole world has problem, not only the U.S. I would not blindly follow those statistics that praise higher speeds in Asia and Europe. They rarely take into account cost/average income.
THey may have cheaper internet and faster speeds but they may get models of modems with usb only that forces them to install crappy software on pcs with ads and other bulls (because modems with ethernet ports cost close to 200). And thats been happening with France Telekom (owner of TPSA in Poland) using Wanadoo (now replaced by Orange).
You try to switch to alternative carrier? It will take you a month and before that you will be without internet after your request!
Customer Service over email takes here in the US 1-2 days but minimum 5 days or more there to respond. Phone lines take forever. You have to go through consumer protection agencies to speed things up.
And over there, you're still required to order at least 2-3 year contracts (or pay outrageous monthly fees for 1 year or month-to-month). THey give an impression that they award their loyal long contract customers with free gifts (web camera, keyboard). But I would rather prefer lower monthly prices than this mess!
Competition? almost none, outside large cities. Cables only serve big, medium size cities and some surrounding suburbs. Most people need digital satellite for TV which are often bundled with telco. Some people who have access to higher access tiers on ADSL2+ are lucky and have IPTV but I suspect they are only available in large cities where cable is available too.