The big thing retarding US broadband expansion is natural and unavoidable: geography. The US is a big country geographically with lots of rural space in the center
This is truly a retarded argument that I keep hearing over and over again. Cable companies don't service rural areas they can't make money in. Many of these remote places have only crappy DSL or dial-up. If geography/density was the only issue we would have some serious broadband at least in major metro areas that are denser than anything in Europe, SK, wherever. The fact is that equally retarded local governments sold their souls to the devil years ago and now the cable companies have absolutely no incentive to provide any infrastructure improvements when they can just continuously pillage their customer base and not worry about competition.
How does the population density argument explain the fact that I have faster broadband on my phone than at home? Shouldn't the cost of building those cell towers out in the boonies make mobile broadband impossible in urban areas too? But apparently they figured out that they can do better tech (LTE) in the cities, and keep older/cheaper tech (EDGE/EVDO/etc) in less populated areas and keep everyone reasonably serviced. Not that the cell companies are much better than Comcast or TW, but at least there is some overlap and competition between them. Honestly my only hope is that mobile+netflix will kill cablecos for good. Fuckin' leeches.