"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."
In many cases in the US, HISTORY gets in the way of cities' building up. Can you perhaps tell me the average AGE of a high-bandwidth city? I strongly suspect none of them to top 100. Meanwhile, the biggest cities in the US are also among the OLDEST (New York predates the country, Chicago, San Fran, LA, etc. were well-established before 1900). Heck, even across the water, I hear London's having its own teething issues with high-speed broadband (no wonder, that's an old city if there ever was one). I'll make it quick: NEW infrastructure in an OLD city (especially one with lots of OLD existing infrastructure) is difficult, especially if it's WIRED tech, which in dense cities probably have to go UNDERGROUND (and New York has SO MUCH existing underground infrastructure they don't even allow implosive demolition for fear of damaging stuff down there). At least wireless infrastructure has one key advantage in a city: you can use the buildings themselves to provide height, although concrete canyons have also proven to hamper ranges. Plus very dense cities present problems of contention and the problems when you try to relieve this problem by crowding masts.