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December 07, 2003

Broadband in Tokyo

Pablos, my friend in Seattle who runs MetaSecura and Schmoo Group and has close relation to Blue Origin, asked me about Broadband in Tokyo. He heard that homes in Tokyo are getting faster connection than homes in the US. Here's explanation of what is going on in Japan:

ah, that buzz seems correct. actually it is mostly DSL. here, now standard offering from almost every DSL suppliers is 24M down/1M up. (of course, actual speed varies with phone wiring issues.) on Nov 26, Softbank and ACCA Networks (a group corp of NTT) announced they are going to start 40M ADSL service from the end of Jan 2004.

following DSL, broadband service providers trying to push Optical Fiber. but big issue here is those providers have to draw fiber cables to houses. often it requires drilling the walls and even to push fibers into old building's conduits. this is major road block of fiberdeployment. an odd thing of most of fiber provider is they use shared model. they often claim it is 100M symmetric but that 100M is shared. if 10 subscribers share one fiber at a same time, the rate obviously becomes 10M per connection. their model take up to 24 subscribers on one fiber.

about cable modem, unlike the US, Japan didn't get cable TV network deployed. it only happened in rural area, but didn't get penetration in cities. because Japan is a small set of islands, terrestrial broadcasting could cover most, then satellite broadcasting started before cable companies raise their business. with these reason, cable modem based internet services locate mostly in rural areas. (also DSL isn't a good choice there cuz phone company's switches are too far from houses to operate good DSL connection)

my ADSL service is 12M down/1M up (actual rate at router is 9934k down/992k up). but there are some odd things I noticed. on my service, once a connection launched I could see the speed but getting to DNS seems slow, often 1 second or couple. also, often download stream looks intermittently bursty. with these issues, I often feel my friend company's T-1 seems faster. : P


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Very true. When I was in Tokyo during 2003, I had broadband service from Itscom in Setagaya. 8mbit down, 256kbit up for little more than 3000yen/month. Had I more money, for about 4500yen/month they were offering a 30/10 service. And in early 2004 signs for 光/FTTH were showing up on the subways.

Ah... I want to go back~

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