High speed fiber internet is being implemented with greater speed and higher penetration around the world than in the United States. The 5-10+% [700 billion to 1.4 trillion per year initially. A nextbigfuture article that covers many studies that connect broadband to economic stimulus] boost to the GDP that would come from 100+mbps symmetrical access would quickly pay for initial subsidies. Implementation by say Japan means that other countries the United States could also have them by adjusting policies and rules to prevent incumbant companies and groups from blocking successful rollout. The first example is super-broadband. The economic benefits for super-broadband have been shown. It is to the benefit of a economic benefit of country and its people to enable super-broadband (at least 100 mbps both up and down). Having a system set up that slows and prevents this rollout is stupid.
Japan is rolling out 10 gigabit per second (symmetrical, upload and download) fiber internet connections. Speeds up to 160 gigabit per second have been demonstrated and 200+ gigabit per second speed is possible. Wireless speeds of 10 gigabits per second over distances have been demonstrated.
There is no societal or technological reason to settle for lesser connection speed targets.
The Fiber-to-the-Home Council proposed  a goal of providing affordable access to next-generation broadband networks to a majority of Americans by 2010 with universal access by 2015. To ensure that consumers can both receive and transmit video and other high-speed services, applications, and content, these networks should have transmission speeds in excess of 100 Mbps and symmetrical access capabilities. As part of the stimulus plan there has been about $7.8 billion allocated for broadband. Another $80-200 billion needs to be spent to build out a full all-fiber multi-gigabit symmetrical network for everyone in the United States. To get the full GDP economic benefits [and real stimulus], we need to speed up the build up of fiber and crank up the speed from 10-50 mbps up to the multi-gigabit range. $80-200 billion in government and private money is quite a bit but it would be buying $700-1.4 trillion per year in increased economy. This seems like a better bet than car company bailouts. Super-broadband an investment in the future.
How did a Norwegian electricity company become the biggest fiber-to-the-home provider in the country?
Lyse's business model is different from companies like Verizon, which is currently rolling out fiber across its service area and then trying to sign up customers. Lyse instead sends people into unserved areas, knocks on all the doors, and passes out information on the new fiber service. Only when 60 percent of the people in an area sign up in advance for the service does Lyse start the actual fiber install.
Sixty percent sounds like a tough threshold, but the company says that it has been "very successful" so far by offering people far greater Internet speeds for the same price they are currently paying. Lyse's Altibox service offers 10Mbps, 30Mbps, or 50Mbps connections—all of them fully symmetrical (upload and download speeds are identical). In many areas, the uptake rate tops 80 percent, though competitors have boosted speeds and started deploying fiber of their own in an effort to retain customers.
In addition to entering an area with tremendous support already lined up, Lyse also does something innovative: it allows prospective customers to dig their own fiber trenches from the street to their homes. In return, customers can save about $400. "They can arrange things just the way they want," says Herbjørn Tjeltveit of Lyse, which makes for happier customers; apparently, nothing angers a Norwegian more than having some faceless corporation tunnel through his flower garden.
Lyse can ramp up the speed dramatically once all that precious fiber is in the ground; its partners are already testing both 100Mbps and 1,000Mbps connections.
The Fiber to the Home Council has a lot of information on the benefits and what the status is of fiber to the home.
Here is the fiber to the home primer for 2009 (32 pages)
It cost $84 billion for the cable companies to pass about 100 million households a decade ago, or $850 a household ($1,500 in today’s). Fiber to the home has dropped to the same levels for installation today.
Verizon’s pure FTTP FiOS service was extremely risky at first but it’s clearly the long-term strategic winner. It can even be argued as a near-term winner since Verizon is winning over so many new triple-play TV/Voice/Internet customers and the costs of laying the fiber to the home has been slashed significantly.
As of 2009[update] the number of homes with FiOS [Fiber Optic Service] access was 12.7 million, of which 2.5 million subscribe to the Internet service, and 2.04 million to FiOS TV
2007 cost of fiber to the home and driving costs down. In 2006, costs for fiber to the home were about $1350 in the USA and dropping 5-20% per year.
Fiber to the premises by country.
FTTP/FTTH (Fiber to the premises or fiber to the home) in Japan, was first introduced in 1999, and did not become a large player until 2001. In 2003-2004, FTTH grew at a remarkable rate, while DSL's growth slowed. 10.5 million FTTH connections are reported as of September 2007 in Japan. Currently, many people are switching from DSL to FTTH, the use of DSL is decreasing, with the peak of DSL usage being March 2006. On September 17, 2008, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications reported that for the first time, the number of FTTH connections (13.08 million connections) eclipsed that of DSL (12.29 million connections) and became the biggest means of broadband connection in Japan at 45% of total compared to that of DSL at 42%.
South Korea FTTP is offered by various Internet service providers including KT (formerly, Korea Telecom), Hanaro Telecom, and LG Powercom. The connection speed for both downloading and uploading is set to be 100 Mbit/s. Monthly subscription fee ranges between USD20 and USD30 depending on subscription period.
Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Co offers FTTB for around $30USD. Taiwan ranks 4th highest FTTB penetration rate in the world.
Fiber to the home explained at wikipedia.
Active optical networks rely on some sort of electrically powered equipment to distribute the signal, such as a switch, router, or multiplexer. Each signal leaving the central office is directed only to the customer for which it is intended. Incoming signals from the customers avoid colliding at the intersection because the powered equipment there provides buffering.
Passive optical network (PON) is a point-to-multipoint, fiber to the premises network architecture in which unpowered optical splitters are used to enable a single optical fiber to serve multiple premises, typically 32-128. A PON configuration reduces the amount of fiber and central office equipment required compared with point to point architectures.