The facts are a little bit (a lot!) fudged in said article. Trust me, the state of network connections (especially to private residences) in Asia is not that great. Can't speak personally about mainland Europe, but my impression is that it has similar problems. There's no perfect solution, but countries that adopted large scale networking later had the advantage of using newer technology. However, that does not mean that the implementation was done as well, or that they didn't cut corners along the way (hint: they did).
I'd go into the technical details as to why just running fiber to more places doesn't really make your network faster, but 99% of you wouldn't understand it.
Edited, May 7th 2012 6:52pm by gbaji