The original question: "How much would it cost for Malaysia or Singapore to upgrade their internet infrastructure, so that the average end-user download speed for that country can be increased or even doubled?" Governments seem to provide cost numbers and spending specifics for all other works, projects and services: highways (miles and cost), electrical grids, housing... However, governments like Malaysia and Singapore claim that they are planning to upgrade their internet infrastructure to be "faster" and "more reliable" for their citizens and yet no price or budget is being tagged or cited--there are no details given.
This question arose from looking at figures at http://www.netindex.com/, which currently places South Korea with the world's fastest average. Of course, the data has been acquired from the voluntary tests ran at http://www.speedtest.net/, making the data of a survey-nature as opposed to true research or scientific empiricism. Nonetheless, this brings up the question, how exactly is a country's internet infrastructure handled? Does it come down to the hardware used? Whether more users are connected via Dial-up, DSL, ADSL, cable, etc? Whether the ISPs within the country are using SONET connections, what kind and how much fiber optics, etc.? Does it come down to how much bandwidth is being purchased by the consumers from the Tier 3 ISPs? What about how much bandwidth is being purchased by the ISPs upstream? If a country wants to revamp their internet infrastructure do they go to somebody? Do Tier 1 networks get involved? What kind of costs are considered and how are they calculated?
The more I try to research this question, the more and more I become inundated and confused about how the internet is handled at large scales. Therefore, this question is posed to those who are familiar with the true history of the internet or the internet at the macro-scale (and I don't mean TLDs or ICAAN, or anything dealing with IPs, domains, etc.), economists, and the like.