Sony-backed Internet service provider launching 2 Gbps Internet in Japan

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For those wanting a lightning-fast Internet connection, many people are waiting for when Google Fiber will hit their homes—but Japan has started rolling out a 2 Gbps Internet service in response to Google Fiber. So-net Entertainment, a Sony-backed ISP, has started rolling out its “Nuro” fiber-based service on Monday to homes, apartments, and small businesses in Tokyo and six surrounding prefectures. Nuro will cost 4,980 yen (US$51) per month on a two-year contract, plus a 52,500 yen (US$538) installation fee that it is currently offering for free for those who apply online. The upload speed is 1 Gbps, which, in the most ideal conditions, will make practically anything that you download from or upload to the Internet nearly instant.

“The service includes rental of an optical network unit (ONU) designed to handle the high speeds,” the company said. “Our service uses the Gigabit-capable Passive Optics Networks (GPON) standard, which supports up to 2.488 Gbps downstream.” ONU devices are commonly used in homes and businesses to convert fiber to broadband Internet. Individual users of the service are unlikely to see 2 Gbps speeds on their devices, as it exceeds the capacity of most consumer network adapters. However, it is implied that business users will probably be able to make full use of this technology.

Currently, 25 percent of Japanese Internet subscribers are connected via fiber, which is the second highest rate in the world, but still far behind the United Arab Emirates, where 70 percent of their Internet subscribers are connected via fiber. 1 Gbps Internet speeds are actually quite common in Japan, with providers slashing prices and offering discounts to get more Internet subscribers on board.

Source: Network World