Yeah, there certainly is a problem with broadband penetration, but it really is a lot to do with infrastructure requirements... Iceland and Korea are much easier to wire because the population is so dense - its worth the money and the telecommunications industry isn't totally entrenched and corrupt... simply look at the net neutrality thing going on. If my ISP is going to try and charge me extra to watch youtube and visit myspace and completely prevent me from using P2P networks regardless of whether I am downloaded illegal content then who cares wehter I have 2, 5, 50, 100 or even 1000mbps? I can't use it for what I want anyway.
I can understand why they're trying to do this; to protect profit margins and dominance over communications. Many areas could be served by cable internet and such VERY easily, but the company wont make much money by doing it so they can maintain their right to provide services to a given area without doing it and preventing others from competing. Building new infrastructure is practically impossible for any smaller company. However in some areas in the states I have heard that verizon has quietly rolled out last mile optical connections with extremely high speeds, minimal set up and monthly cost; but of course to only select areas.
In Canada things have been getting worse, Rogers has completely throttled P2P as of about a year ago... I was on it when that happened and my download speeds dropped from 600k/sec to 20k/sec. I phoned them, and the first tech didn't even understand what my problem was. The next tech I got, when he figured out i was talking about P2P, told me I shouldn't be downloading illegal things. I proceeded into a bit of a yelling match where he wouldn't concede that P2P was not exclusively illegal content and I cancelled my account. I switched to sympatico JUST before they instituted a TERRIBLE bandwidth cap so I'm sticking with this so that I actually have good speed and unlimited usage. Except when I moved to my new location speeds dropped from about 500k/sec to 300k/sec - I phoned them and after a couple chats with tech support they informed me that 300k/sec was a completely reasonable speed for my 5mbps service and I had nothing to complain about. I tried to explain that they were being ridiculous but they wouldnt have it... so I'm still shelling out for the fastest service available but getting speeds more like the regular or light service.