And speaking of the developed world, I've had much better luck in the developing and 3rd world for Internet speeds. By a wide margin. Just my own observations though.
Can you elaborate on this sentence? This seems interesting. Do you mean the general net speed was faster or were the better plans simply cheaper?
I remember the Internet speeds at hotels I was staying at in Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City and in Long Xing (way out in the country side) were both better than what I was getting at home. Similarly, connection speeds when I was in Cambodia (near Angkor) were better.
Korea? Well. Enough said. They're getting 1 Gbps next year. It'll probably be something like $50. I had a slow connection -- about $25~$30 or so for 10 Mbps. The 100 Mbps was the same price about, but my speeds were already so fast that I never needed to bother upgrading.
Now, my Internet speeds have improved dramatically recently, and I have even seen 800 kbps. But I saw 1.5 Mbps in Long Xing, and 2 Mbps in Ho Chi Minh.
I remember not being able to get above 50 kbps while at hotels in the US in 2005 and 2006 where I was paying an ungodly amount PER DAY for access. On more recent visits, things seemed to be much better though. Still, I was rather disappointed considering what I was paying.
Here, in Australia, I'm paying 2x as much for far less than I was getting in Korea, but Korea is probably a bad example as it's the most wired country on the planet.
Living in Penang, and island in Malaysia, speeds were unpredictable, and unreliable. 2 Mbps one day, then 80 kbps the next. Day after that, outage for 4 hours. Usually it was pretty good, but it had days that were just not fun. Just all over the place. That was with Penangfon though. Pricing was very cheap at about RM 800 a year, or about USD 23 a month (IIRC). Considering that I was pretty much out in the boonies just outside Batu Ferringhi and surrounded by ocean and jungle for the most part, on an island, with monkeys running around all over the place, and then thinking that I'm now in the second largest city in Australia, and very close to the center of the city, erm... I would have expected, well, something different.
But, the NBN will save the day~!
(It's a bit of a controversy here -- it's a national infrastructure project for broadband.)