The reality is Australia is [roughly] the same size as the US and thus the infrastructure of telecommunications network essentially reaches as far...yet the population is less than 10% of the US.
Do those maths while you are in the shower...and similar access/bandwidth could be [reasonably] TEN TIMES as much as it is in the US.
Thing is, if Telstra and Optus had their way, it would be... a helluva lot more. Both charge premium prices for a lot less than other providers offer for much less. For example; I was getting 25gb at 1500kbs with Bigpond for 79.95 per month, while I'm getting 120gb at 8-10 mbs with iinet for S89.90 a month... 5 times the data at 15 times the speed, and no upload charges. With Bigpond my 25gb download quota was whittled away by upload deductions... not so with iinet, I get the full 120gb p/m regardless of how much is uploaded.
Oh, and another thing, Telstra is already complaining that it will have to charge twice the government's recommended retail price for DSL2 on the new network, while iinet, AAPT and other providers are saying they would be able to provide it for cheaper than they can now. I'm so glad Telstra did not get the contract to roll out the new network, otherwise we'd be paying through the nose for it, regardless of ISP.
And another thing that severely pisses me off about Telstra... they keep ringing and/or sending me letters trying to woo me back as a customer. I keep telling them NO, in no uncertain terms, but they persist and keep offering better and better deals, none of which come remotely close to the package I have currently. When I mention this I'm told that Telstra does not compete on price, but instead offers superior products and services. Yeah, right! I left because they are inferior... and up to 40 mins of recorded voice prompts/sales pitches when ringing to make a simple account inquiry. Never again!!!