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The Internet Networking Businesses

Japanese Online Connectivity Ahead of EU/US 259

Posted by Zonk
from the sweet-sweet-connectivity dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The experience of getting online in North America and Europe is years behind the internet connectivity options in Japan, the New York Times reports. While here in the US cable and DSL options are still struggling to reach rural areas, eight million Japanese consumers are now enjoying fiber optic speeds at home for comparable prices. The article explores the fiber-to-the-doorstep approach the country's telecoms are taking, with examination of both the ups and downs of such an ambitious project. 'The heavy spending on fiber networks, analysts say, is typical in Japan, where big companies disregard short-term profit and plow billions into projects in the belief that something good will necessarily follow. Matteo Bortesi, a technology consultant at Accenture in Tokyo, compared the fiber efforts to the push for the Shinkansen bullet-train network in the 1960s, when profit was secondary to the need for faster travel. "They want to be the first country to have a full national fiber network, not unlike the Shinkansen years ago, even though the return on investment is unclear."'"
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Japanese Online Connectivity Ahead of EU/US

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  • Japan is pretty small, so it wouldnt cost as much to roll a new infrastructure every 5-7 years. Unlike the US or Australia.
    • The United Stated has very slightly over 26 times the land area, while only a little over 2 times the populace. Simply dividing the land area by people (an extremely rough measure of cable?), you get 10.96. But actually even that is misleading. When you consider the amount of rural area in the United States compared to Japan, the cost to reach cable to them is even more, because you are running cable (copper or fiber) a lot farther to reach a relatively few people. It is not a matter of square miles per se
      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @06:20AM (#20877979) Journal

        I keep hearing this excuse, but it really doesn't add up. I've visited Japan and spent quite a bit of time in the USA. Comparing Tokyo to NYC seems fair; they seemed to have similar population densities. Does NYC have the same level of connectivity as Tokyo? I also stayed in a small town in Japan (Takada, for anyone who's interested), and I've seen a lot of American towns of similar size; do they all have comparable connectivity? Getting the connection to the city is fairly cheap, it's the last mile that is the really expensive bit, and the cost of that is relative to population density.

        The low average population density of the USA is often given as an excuse, but it ignores population distribution. If you look at a map showing the population density over the whole world, the western half of the USA, with the exception of a few dots and some very dense concentrations on the western seaboard, is almost completely empty in relative terms. If you confine yourself to the eastern half, you'll see huge areas the same density as Japan, and the rest the same or greater density than the EU.

        Yes, Japan does have an advantage in terms of overall population density (although it is far more mountainous than most of the populated places of the USA), but nothing like a factor of 20 advantage for the vast majority of the population of the USA.

      • by Fred_A (10934)

        When you consider the amount of rural area in the United States compared to Japan, the cost to reach cable to them is even more, because you are running cable (copper or fiber) a lot farther to reach a relatively few people.
        I bet it would be cheaper with tubes...

    • by TFGeditor (737839)
      I have no idea why anyone would mod down the parent. I came to this thread with the notion of posting that exact thought. In Texas alone there are rural expanses that eclipse the size of Japan. It is not cost effective to provide broadband infrastructire in such locales. And I say this to my chagrin as a telecommuter and resident of such a rural area.

      • by Kangburra (911213)
        Probably because it's already been said numerous times before in this thread, and proven to be an inaccurate way to explain the US's shortcomings.
    • by IdleTime (561841) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @10:48AM (#20879461) Journal
      So, New York city must be 100% on 100Mbs fiber then? And only like $20/month, right?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 06, 2007 @03:07AM (#20877261)
    "(insert country name) connectivity ahead of US"

    Doh. That's as obvious as saying "Mortality is the leading cause of death".
    • by jez9999 (618189)
      Mongolia connectivity ahead of US.

      Wow, things must be going backwards over there!
  • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @03:07AM (#20877263) Journal

    'Cause I'm posting from Japan! :P
  • Anyone have any #'s for fiber rollout to the home in the US?

    Googling around for stats on Verizon FIOS seems like as of 2Q 2007, they claim 3.9 million homes have FIOS availability, and are aiming for 18 million by 2010. http://www.mediabuyerplanner.com/2007/10/01/comcast-starting-to-feel-heat-from-verizons-fios/ [mediabuyerplanner.com]

    As for actual customers numbers, I have no idea, but am curious. I happen to live in an area--Northern VA--where I know a decent number of people with FIOS, though I still have cable modem..

    Are there
    • and are aiming for 18 million by 2010

      And that is an interesting stat. One which does highlight the (some call fallacious) size disparity.
      The 2005 census [stat.go.jp] in Japan had them at 49 million households. The 2000 US census shows 105 million. Wiring up 18 million households would represent a far greater percentage of Japan's population than that of the US.

      Are we really that far behind? Maybe not.

      I have Verizon FIOS available, but like you, still on cable.
      • We are that behind. 8 million users already have it Japan, whereas 3.9 million have it "available" from Verizon. The fastest rate Verizon offers is 50Mbs in only a very select number of locations as opposed to 100Mbs which is common in Japan. In Japan, they are making this a priority. In the US, it's mainly up to the telcos and the cable companies and the only large one employing the network on anything but a small or test scale is Verizon.
        • whereas 3.9 million have it "available" from Verizon

          If the fiber pipe comes to their house, and they don't subscribe...who, precisely, is to blame for us being 'behind'?
          For those 8 million Japanese, what was their alternative before the fiber came in? I'm not sure, just asking the question.

          What I'm saying is...rightly or wrongly, the current alternatives in the US are often seen as acceptable to many users. If it was dialup OR fiber, no contest. Bring me the glass. But if it's dialup OR cable/DSL OR fib
  • Of course... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 06, 2007 @03:12AM (#20877279)
    "[B]ig companies disregard short-term profit and plow billions into projects in the belief that something good will necessarily follow."

    We might want to discuss all the various reasons as to why America has fallen so much behind. In the past, we brought up land area and population density while forgetting that some countries in northern Europe with lower density fare better. Nobody ever brought this up even if that's one big obvious difference right there.
    • Because it's the distribution of the density that matters...

      If we both have 100,000 square acres of land, and I have 100 people and you have 200 people, I have less density than you.

      Now, if my population all live in a 50 square acre area, and yours lives in a 1000 square acre area, your distribution of density is a lot wider. It's easier to wire you than to wire me.

      For example, Sweden. 9 million people spread over 410,000 square kilometers for a density of 22 people per square kilometer. The US has

  • by User 956 (568564) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @03:15AM (#20877295) Homepage
    Japanese Online Connectivity Ahead of EU/US

    Unfortunately, the "connectivity" is in the form of tentacles.
  • So you're telling me Tokyo, one of the densest cities in the world, is easier to wire for broadband than rural Wyoming? Shocking!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 06, 2007 @04:09AM (#20877471)
      Why don't the big cities in your glorious US-of-A have fiber for the last mile? Are they not as densely populated as Tokyo?

      The article is about fiber to the home, not for long-haul transport. Even in rural Wyoming there is fiber everywhere, except for the last part to the user. You don't have to lay humongous amounts of new fiber, the backbone infrastructure is already in use, again, even in Wyoming. You just have to make an effort to replace the last mile(s) to the home.

      In Japan they are willing to do that, because there isn't an immediate lust for profit. A sort of "if you build it, profit will/may come". For that same reason it will never happen in the US. Because you --as a people-- are shallow, narrow minded pricks with a degenerate obsession for short-term money.

  • The notion that Japan's ability to roll out broadband everywhere is somehow the result of strategic, and forward thinking lacking in the west is so much hype.

    Japan is a tiny island. The United States consists of the fairly large part of the North American continent and Europe, taken together, is not entirely tiny either. Of course it will be easier to wire Japan than it would be the USA or Europe.

    People that argue that Japan is somehow doing something "unprofitable" to get a strategic gain need to wonder
    • by MMaestro (585010)
      So sure, you can buy into the hype, but the reality is, Japanese telecommunications are both anti-competitive and comparitively easy to do.

      And the reality is that American telecommunications are both run by monopolies and impossible to break into (we all saw how Apple got bullied around by AT&T). When the bulk of the U.S. is still using dial-up, its hard to say that Japanese telecommunication is a hype.

  • by The Munger (695154) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @03:25AM (#20877335) Homepage
    I'm an Australian living in Japan and I've been here a couple of years now. Australian internet basically sucks - ask anyone with half a clue. Coming to Japan meant that I had a faster connection to my home than any company I'd worked for in Australia. (26Mbs down/1Mbs up vs. 8Mbs). It seemed crazily fast. Then when I moved house, I upgraded to 50Mbps fibre. It's what they call a 'mansion-type' (mansion just means apartment in Japan). The building has 1Gbps, and each apartment has a 50Mbps connection to that little black box. I've seen it transfer 4 megabytes a second to a friend of mine on the same setup. And the whole thing costs about $35 US a month at current rates. There are faster plans too. Standard FTTH is 100Mbs and I think there's some kind of family plan where you get 1Gbps to the home and then as many 100Mbps connections as you like hanging off that. I seem to remember a story on Slashdot (maybe last year?), about the Japanese government teaming up with NTT and Fujitsu to get 10Gbps connections to the home by 2010. I can't wait.
    • by jez9999 (618189)
      The building has 1Gbps, and each apartment has a 50Mbps connection to that little black box. I've seen it transfer 4 megabytes a second to a friend of mine on the same setup.

      What's the upstream? Is it synchronous?
      • As far as I know, it's 50/50. The 4Mbps I mentioned was an FTP transfer where I was the server. I used FileZilla (http://filezilla-project.org/).
    • The little Sony Vaio TR-1MP that I'm using now tops out at around 24 MB/S in any speed test I can find. My big dual-opteron with gigabit ethernet can pull down high 90s, as can my iMac Pro.

      What I find, though, is that I never get anything like this kind of data throughput because most of the web is throttled at a few mb/s per connection and many sites are getting smart to users with download managers and restricting the number of connections at any one time. It's frustrating to have to wait 15 minutes to
      • by timmarhy (659436)
        are they so strict? judging by the plague of anime crap all over the internet it doesn't seem like it....
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        If I were downloading Japanese content, that might change, but they are extremely strict with copyright law when it comes to their own stuff and people have been thrown in jail for downloading AND for sharing japanese movies.

        I think you might just be on a wrong system. As far as I know the Japanese do not use BitTorrent in any large numbers, their thing was Winny, and after that got cracked by the cops (sort of) the thing that replaced it is called Share.

        Winny and Share are quite sophisticated systems in

  • by Samir Gupta (623651) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @03:28AM (#20877347) Homepage
    Japan was basically levelled in the Second World War, and thus enjoyed the benefits of rebuilding infrastructure following logical planning for the future from the ground up, unlike the US/EU that are saddled with centuries-old cities. It's much easier to lay fiber if you've already got the conduits, etc. for it.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 06, 2007 @03:45AM (#20877399)
      I imagine it helps that they're not spending trillions on war.
    • by it0 (567968)
      Hiroshima was nuked, tokyo is basicly on the other side of the "island", it's not that small...

      Germany/holland etc were levelled, and although connectivity is good there it's as good as Japan..

      • I believe you wanted to say it's not as good as Japan?
        Over here in my town (Eindhoven , the Netherlands) I was lucky to live in the right spot where we got free installment and one year of fiber connection. After that year we could choose to continue and had a choice of extras like telephony and tv channels through the fiber.
        Last month I saw the sign put up announcing 1200 more homes connected to fiber in a neighbourhood next to mine.
        I can't tell how it is in Japan, but fiber is starting to grow here and
      • Tokyo was bombed pretty well. What with the firebombing and whatnot, they took more overall damage than Hiroshima. Of course that was over an extended campaign rather than a single dramatic demonstration of the US desire to avoid carving up China for the USSR.
    • by HuguesT (84078)
      OK, let's level the US then ;-), who is up for it?
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      Japan was basically levelled in the Second World War, and thus enjoyed the benefits of rebuilding infrastructure following logical planning for the future from the ground up, unlike the US/EU that are saddled with centuries-old cities.

      But you're fooling yourself if you believe this is the only reason. Most countries in their position would simply be left behind other ones which didn't suffer such damages during WWII.

      Matter of fact is, Japanese people operate better in society, their motivation goes far beyo
      • But you're fooling yourself if you believe this is the only reason.

        And you're fooling yourself if you think this isn't a reason. Certainly not the whole, but a significant factor.
    • by 49152 (690909)
      Don't they teach history in the US anymore?

      Japan was NOT leveled during WW2. Hiroshima and Nagasaki was, but the country a a whole did not.
      • Evidently they don't teach history outside the US, either... Considering that 31 Japanese cities were over 50% destroyed [ditext.com] by US bombing. And that those 31 cities comprised half the Japanese population. I'd say that 50-99% destruction qualifies as leveled. Tokyo over 50% destroyed. Reduced to nothing but rubble.

        Also interesting to note that Hiroshima and Nagasaki's atomic bombing caused LESS infrastructure damage than that delivered to Toyama or Tokushima, in terms of percentage of city destroyed.

    • by Kristoph (242780)
      It's not the infrastructure. Many US cities already have fiber in major streets. Moreover, if you look at modern city subdivisons, which have been entirelly rebuilt, you still don't find fiber to the home. We have an appartment in Seattle in a completelly new 'apartment community' and there is no fiber to the community, never mind the units, even though there is fiber in the street.

      Why? Because the market (although free) is not competative. You simply cannot get more than 8mb (from the cable provider) and s
  • profits...? (Score:4, Informative)

    by djupedal (584558) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @03:42AM (#20877389)
    "compared the fiber efforts to the push for the Shinkansen bullet-train network in the 1960s, when profit was secondary to the need for faster travel."

    Profits and/or speed were not the drivers as claimed. Much of the construction was financed by a US$80 million loan from the World Bank. USD$80 mil in 1960 dollars is approx. 1/2 billion in today's money.

    The initial project was originally discussed in the 1930's with construction beginning in 1959 - the Tokaido Shinkansen started running on October 1, 1964, in time for the Tokyo Olympics. National pride was (and still is) the driver, not the need for speed...

    Notice that China is following a similar process, with the Maglev in Shanghai running at 433 kph and drawing significant attention as the 2008 Olympics in China are just around the corner.

    Also, note that "Shinkansen bullet-train" is redundant - 'bullet train' is a literal translation, thank you very much.
    • This article doesn't surprise me at all. The Japanese do things *right*.

      The initial project was originally discussed in the 1930's with construction beginning in 1959 - the Tokaido Shinkansen started running on October 1, 1964, in time for the Tokyo Olympics.

      I rode on that line regularly between Kobe and Tokyo in 2002 (maybe a couple dozen times). The Shinkansen puts any other public transportation I've ever been on to shame[1].

      Japan was wired with ISDN first (Japan was all ISDN when I got there in 1999). My Japanese keitai in 2002 still has some features not available in the US today (the dictionary mode works right, to name one).

      There is a lot to love about engineering in Japan. I wi

      • by djupedal (584558)
        "The Shinkansen puts any other public transportation I've ever been on to shame..."

        From inside, it is hard to tell you are even moving - you need the readouts and a look out the window to be sure. From the outside, things are a bit different. I was on a platform one time, several hundred meters away from a tunnel, when a Shinkansen emerged full speed...the salarymen simply kept reading their newspapers and reached for something to hold on to. As the train blasts from the tunnel, your skin crawls in react
    • by fbjon (692006)

      Also, note that "Shinkansen bullet-train" is redundant - 'bullet train' is a literal translation, thank you very much.
      Actually, the literal translation is more like "new main line". The bullet train moniker is a literal translation of an older name used during construction, AFAIK.
  • fiber optic speed?

    I didn't realize fiber optics had a speed. I thought it was just a tunnel for light.

    WTF is fiber optic speed? How about Japanese get 45 gigamillizetabits/s and eu/us gets 6mb/s. That has meaning. I can run 10mb/s over a copper wire, I can run 1000mb/s over the same copper wire. At one point in time, it was the fastest you could do over that copper wire. If I said "copper wire speed" people would think I as dumb.
    • by Kristoph (242780)
      My parents in law get 24mb per second (actual speed test as they did not know what the theoretical was) in their home in Saitama (about 2 hours from Tokyo).

      ]{
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 06, 2007 @04:27AM (#20877527)
    I currently live in Tokyo Japan, but normally I live in Sweden, A very sparesly populated country in the northern Europe. I do not agree with the author of this article. I have what they call "FTTH", Fiber To The Home. It is said to be 100 mbit. However when measuring using speed test against servers in Japan I get 2 - 20 mbit. I.e., Extremeley poor. The international connectivity suck a lot, it is comparable to my experience in the dominican republic. I get speeds of around 20 kbyte/s to europe and experience high packet loss. The login procedure is very awkward. While you are not logged onto the internet, you can still access some sites, such as yahoo.jp or even use Skype. You are auto-logged out after a certain amount of time. Since I am behind NAT a lot of things does not work good, P2P or downloading the latest WoW patch takes ages, even when it is small.

    I have ordered some ADSL subscription from Yahoo and NTT, but I have not yet recieved any confirmation on my order (was 3 weeks ago).

    I talked to some friends here in Tokyo and they confirm that the internet really is this bad; they are used to NAT, low international speeds and very irregular and poor performing national speeds.

    Compared to the 24/8 mbit DSL I have in Sweden (we also have fiber in Sweden, but not in the area where I live) the internet service is light years behind, even though it on paper sound very good with fiber to the home and all. At home in Sweden I always get 24/8 when tested against the speed test servers in Sweden. Sweden have excelent international connectivity and uploading stuff to friends in the states is usually done at around 4 mbit/s. The internet is also very stable and I usually have bittorrent running 24/7 resulting in some 1000 GB transfer every month. That would be impossible here in Japan, because they seem to be a lot more draconian about what you may and may not do. For example I may not use P2P applications or use a lot of bandwidth (some examples given, chatting with webcam). In Sweden noone cares and everyone is just uploading stuff like there is no tomorrow; resulting in even faster backbones and better infrastructure since the ISPs must invest more to cope.

    Generally I find that many things in Japan is about sounding good or seeming to be good but how it is in reality is not that important. I think a major problem is that they actually do not have that much internet infrastructure, very weak backbone and most networks are build "ad-hoc" without a bigger plan, just run another fiber down the telephone poles and hook it up at nearest station.

    But the people here don't seem to mind that much. They use cellular phones for communication and Wii or PS3 for computer games. The internet here *is* yahoo for most people. The only person I have met so far that was a heavy internet user was a foreign worker from Vietnam :)

    Anyhow, back to the article; the article is the result of a combination of Japanese "look good on paper" with the journalist quest for write impressive articles and a bit of "It is always greener on the other side of the fence"-thinking.
    • by ArwynH (883499)

      Japan's internal network is actually quite fast. Things are only NATed because most people do not know how to set-up port forwarding on the router. I currently have fiber and while most things I download only reach ~ 600k, I suspect that in part due to my downloading them from the west (see below) and in part due to my 11Mbps wifi card.

      The connection times to Europe do tend to suck a bit. EG it can take 5-10sec to connect via SSH to boxs in the UK an Russia. This is due to all connections being routed via

  • by Gadzinka (256729) <rrw@hell.pl> on Saturday October 06, 2007 @04:33AM (#20877557) Journal

    The experience of getting online in North America and Europe is years behind the internet connectivity options in Japan


    How many mistakes can one make in single sentence? ;)

    First, Europe is years behind Japan and South Korea -- those pesky Asians go head to head in wiring their countries. Europe, even Western isn't uniformly connected, there are years worth of difference between the countries. North America isn't uniform either: Cannada is basically on pair with Western Europe, while US fell years behind even some Eastern European countries.

    I mean, I live in Warsaw/Poland, far from the city centre and I have a choice of two physical cable operators, and two physical DSL operators. On top of that, one of the DSL operators (TPSA) is a monopolist (dominant operator in today lingo) wich by law has to sell BSA and WLR to dozen or so virtual DSL operators which compete with each other and with TPSA. I don't think you can get this kind of choice even in NY, which is a part of megalopolis with the biggest population on Earth and one of the biggest population densities in the world.

    Wroclaw (Breslau for those teutonically inclined) is a much smaller city, yet it had fiber laid in sewers couple of years ago, reaching all parts of the city with speeds up to 100Mbps.

    And don't even get me started on municipal and private wifi networks in rural areas... They just work, selling not only IP, but also phone services based on VoIP.

    Robert
  • 'The heavy spending on fiber networks, analysts say, is typical in Japan, where big companies disregard short-term profit a [..] for the Shinkansen bullet-train network in the 1960s, when profit was secondary to the need for faster travel. "They want to be the first country to have a full national fiber network, not unlike the Shinkansen years ago, even though the return on investment is unclear."'"

    I have the feeling many managers would get a heart attack reading this. But don't we read every day stuff like
    • It does make money though, that's the point. It's infrastructure. Infrastructure makes money, often huge amounts of money, but indirectly. Put a decent road or rail connection in somewhere, and it makes more sense to put businesses there. The same with any other communications infrastructure. Unfortunately, western capitalism (particularly the 'teh gob'mint ar teh evil' kind that's popular in the USA) is particularly bad at investing in infrastructure.
  • Regulation. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jez9999 (618189) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @04:52AM (#20877621) Homepage Journal
    Until the US government is willing to regulate the telephony sector adequately, you will have shitty telephony services and very rich fatcats at the top.
    • Shhh, it's much easier (and comfortable) to come up with fallacious arguments about geography, population density, Japanese protectionism, &c.
  • In May I went to Tolyatti, Russia. About 1 million people living there. It's not a grown city, but a planned one. Huge Plattenbaus with more than 600 apartments each.

    The family I lived with had a 8Mbit/s down / 256 kbit/s up ADSL connection. Pretty nice for Russia, I thought. One day they told me, that someone would come "to make the Internet faster". Ok, I thought. What will happen, it's already fast. Install some Voodoo software to tweak IP option optimized for ADSL?

    The next day some people from the Inter
  • The article explores the fiber-to-the-doorstep approach the country's telecoms are taking, with examination of both the ups and downs of such an ambitious project. 'The heavy spending on fiber networks, analysts say, is typical in Japan, where big companies disregard short-term profit and plow billions into projects in the belief that something good will necessarily follow.

    If it's considered ambitious for a tiny country like Japan to be doing this, then it's downright mind boggling that Verizon is doing thi
  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @08:49AM (#20878641)
    OH NOES!!! The US lags behind Japan! This may be true. However...

    1. Telcoms. Yes, the telcoms screwed the pooch. They were supposed to have this a lot farther along than it is. But they're getting to it. Currently, Verizon has ~4 million households wired for fiber. But they are they only company rolling out fiber? And I'm glad it's only one. I really don't want ALL of them digging up my yard every few months.

    2. States vs countries. The US is not a monolithic block. Rather, it is a collection of 50 states, each with their own rules, etc.

    3. Size. All you clowns saying size/density doesn't matter are FOC. It is significantly easier to wire 50 million houses than 105 million. And when you consider the physical distance between houses, it's even more expensive. Wiring up 20 houses per mile is harder/slower/more costly than 50 houses per mile. US houses generally have more land between. Which leads us to ...

    4. But why aren't the cities wired? Equal density to Tokyo. Well...Tokyo doesn't have a 150 year old infrastructure. NYC infrastructure, for instance, is horrendous. Chicago the same. Pulling yet another new set of lines through there would be a nightmare. Tokyo and a host of other cities [ditext.com] in Japan were leveled in WWII. Some almost totally. With a large influx of worldwide money, they started over in the 50's.
    Verizon seems to be concentrating on the smaller midsize cities and suburbs first, rather than trying to tackle the hardest nuts first.

    5. Customer inertia. Most of the US has had cable/DSL available for a while. Even with it available, a lot of people don't see a personal need for it. Now comes in fiber. Convince me to change. What type of connectivity did the average house in Japan have? Did they go through a long period of 'better than dialup'? I have fiber available, but am satisfied with my current cable connection. I haven't seen a need (yet) to restructure my house connections and billing again.

    Are we behind? Maybe, maybe not. But there are a variety of reasons why this may be true, other than just "The Japanese are so much better than the US."
  • Japan averages 340 people per square kilometer. The United States averages 32. Why am I supposed to be surprised that a country with ten times the population density has more pervasive broadband?
  • With a fibre optic line, you can deliver ultra high speed internet, infinite HDTV channels/on-demand, telephone, videophone (at HD quality so e.g. GPs can use it to diagnose patients in their homes) and many other services not even invented yet. The internet and IP based services are the future for at least the next 50 years, probably a lot longer.

    Western companies can't seem to see past end-of-year figures and shareholder meetings.

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