Maybe the US internet backbone isn't so bad?
Wholesale internet prices decline globally; vary sharply across regions: CommsUpdate : TeleGeography Research: "Wholesale internet prices decline globally; vary sharply across regions
While the world is growing ever more interconnected, new data from TeleGeography’s IP Transit Pricing Service reveals that the price of wholesale internet access (IP transit) continues to vary dramatically around the world.
Median monthly IP transit prices for 1,000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) ports in major US and European cities ranged from USD10 to USD14 per Mbps in Q2 2008. IP transit prices in Asia remain far higher than in the US and Europe. Prices for GigE ports in major Asian cities in Q2 2008 ranged from USD30 per Mbps month in Seoul to USD45 per Mbps per month in Tokyo. IP transit service in Latin America is even more expensive, with median GigE port prices ranging from USD73 per month in Buenos Aires to USD86 per month in Santiago."