For the most part, the last-mile companies (Time Warner, Charter, Comcast, Cox) have little to do with the national infrastructure (operated primarily by Level 3, Cogent, GTT, etc.). Some arguments can be made that even the national infrastructure is not where it should be, but most of those companies were founded or expanded in the late 1990s to take advantage of the near-collapse of the industry after the telecomms laid down most of the fiber that currently serves as the national internet backbone. They have little incentive to invest in another round of infrastructure improvements on the same scale as that undertaken in the mid-to-late 1990s.
While it may be impressive to see multiple U.S. cities on the list, we have to wonder why the country’s tech hubs (San Francisco/Silicon Valley and Seattle) aren’t at the top of the world. I’d be interested in finding out why Lafayette and Bristol show up on the list, but Kansas City is a clear indication that competition can help. Still, Google have hit far more resistance in subsequent attempts to bring competition to other regions.
The biggest similarity between the last-mile companies and the backbone companies is the lack of interest in laying new cable. All of them are more interested in leveraging software improvements and traffic manipulation (or the threat thereof) to provide their own services over those lines.