In another sure sign of our national infrastructure being poorly handled and neglected by the incumbents and their failed promises of '96, the US is now ranked 24th in terms of broadband availability, surpassed by pretty much every nation in Western Europe as well as South Korea, Japan, Macau and Hong Kong. If current trends follow, we're likely to get further and further behind old Soviet bloc countries like Lithuania and Romania.
Unsurprisingly, most of this can be traced back to how the telcos squandered the loot from the '96 Telcom Act. Instead of investing in fiber options, they chose to pump the money into long-distance, wireless and DSL ventures to get higher profit margins. Rural areas have been hit hardest since they were supposed to see this universal fiber built-out as well.