Today New America Foundation has published a report "The Cost of Connectivity 2013: A comparison of high-speed Internet prices in 24 cities around the world"
It has been covered by media, mostly in a tone that US is lagging behind and lacking choices (emphasis mine):
"Americans pay so much because they don't have a choice," says Susan Crawford, a former special assistant to President Barack Obama on science, technology and innovation policy.
Although there are several national companies, local markets tend to be dominated by just one or two main providers.
"We deregulated high-speed internet access 10 years ago and since then we've seen enormous consolidation and monopolies, so left to their own devices, companies that supply internet access will charge high prices, because they face neither competition nor oversight."
Two-thirds get their broadband via their television cables, she says, because the DSL (digital subscriber line) service provided by phone companies over copper lines can't compete with cable speeds, while wireless and satellite services are subject to low usage caps.
On the other hand there has been editorial in NYT by Verizon's CEO Lowell C. McAdam, titled "How the U.S. Got Broadband Right" stating quite the opposite (emphasis mine):
Contrast this with the European Union, where innovation and investment in advanced networks have stagnated under an onerous regulatory regime that limits investment and innovation, and where today only about 2 percent of households have access to broadband networks with 100-megabit-plus speeds. “Once, Europe led the world in wireless communication: now we have fallen behind,” Neelie Kroes, the European Union official responsible for broadband policy, said in a speech in January. “Europe needs to regain that lead.”
Since 1996, as America encouraged the growth of its broadband industry, European regulators have adopted policies that generally limited network infrastructure deployment to a single facility in a given country or region. Other companies were allowed to “resell” broadband services to consumers, but only if they used the same infrastructure. This “retail” competition resulted in prices that may have covered the costs of operations but left little capital or other incentive for companies to invest in improving these networks. In other words, a decade ago the European broadband market may have looked healthy from the standpoint of consumer pricing, but after 10 years of underinvestment, European households (only half of which have access to networks capable of speeds of even 30 megabits) have far fewer broadband options and innovations than their American counterparts.
So what's the hard data? How does state of broadband in US and EU compare?