Here in the US we're going to see a 3rd world status in regards to networking by the end of our lifetimes (that is if it's not already that way yet).
No, we are not. People and companies willing to pay for top-quality networking have access to it.
You left of "willing and ABLE to pay". So as long as the rich can get top-quality networking the U.S. is golden? The U.S. is 19th in the world in broadband penetration, and 19th in the world in broadband speed. Can a nation compete economically when it is far behind in the core infrastructure of the 21st Century?
The expectation that rural areas should get equal connectivity at the same cost as urban areas will always keep the average service below the average service in other countries that are willing to pay what it costs.
How dare rural people expect electricity at affordable prices, decent roads like city-folk, mail service, and broadband? Who do the think they are? Real Americans? You would think they were citizens of what claims to be the greatest nation on Earth or something!
Oddly enough those rural people are in deep red state territory, vote heavily Republican, yet the people seem concerned whether they get access to 21st Century technology are those Marxist America-hating Progressives.
And actually U.S. broadband penetration is so poor (22%) most city-dwellers can't get it.