I cannot say for North America, but here in Australia lag on online Smash 4 is still definitely a problem.
You mention about being far away from the server, but as far as I know the game actually doesn't use dedicated servers. It instead uses only peer-to-peer connections, meaning that the quality of your game will not only be affected by your connection, but by the connection and hardware of all the other players in the match. So it wouldn't be about how far you are from a server, but how far away you are from the other players, and the quality of the connection between you and those players.
However, there are some things you can do to make sure it's not a problem on your side of things. This article has some suggestions, which I'll outline here:
- Don't use bandwidth-hungry applications on your network while you play. Things like streaming and large downloads are going to affect your game latency.
- Physical interference from other devices is a possibility. Bluetooth and WiFi devices, along with microwaves could interfere with your wireless network performance. (Personally, I've never had trouble with things like this, but it's a possibility worth checking.)
- If you are playing on Wii U, get an ethernet to USB adapter. These are relatively inexpensive and will allow you to use a wired internet connection from your router to your Wii U. This will avoid any latency involved in WiFi. In fact, the Smash 4 development team said themselves this was the best way to play online lag free.
Other than this, there is little you can do to reduce lag. If it's not problems with your connection, then you just have to hope the players you get matched with are close by and have good connections.
Of course if you have friends who live near you, you can choose "With Friends" to play with them, hopefully with less lag.