Yahoo and Softbank just announced in Japan a new ADSL service with 50Mbit/s downstream and 3Mbit/s upstream for $38/month - Envy!
I paid for SBC 1Mbit DSL about the same in the USA. Softbank has successfully captured more than 4 million users.
In Japanese metropolitan areas consumers also have access to fibre optic lines with speeds up to 100Mbit/s. The Japan Times has an interesting article on this topic.
This is a huge digital divide in my eyes. 50-100x faster internet access for low cost changes dramatically what can be done with the internet and with online services. The US and Europe need to catch up here fast.