Japanese telecommunications carrier KDDI will start offering from October 1G bps (bits per second) fiber-optic Internet hook-ups for less than the current price of a connection one tenth the speed, it said this week.
The Hikari One Home Gigabit service will cost US$51.40 per month and provide an upstream and downstream connection at 1G bps. Internet-based telephone service and cable TV service can be added to the connection for an additional fee.
It will be available to single-dwelling homes and apartment buildings up to three floors high in the Tokyo area and Hokkaido island in north Japan. KDDI's current fiber-optic service for such buildings tops out at 100M bps and costs US$62.20 while the broadly available 10M bps DSL (digital subscriber line) service costs around US$43.25.
Japanese Internet users already enjoy some of the fastest and cheapest Internet connections in the world. Aggressive investment by carriers in fiber-optic networks and the country's densely packed cities leave many homes and buildings within easy reach of a fiber optic connection.
As of the end of June subscriptions to fiber-optic Internet services totalled 13 million whereas those to DSL services stood at 12.3 million, according to figures from Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Cable Internet services, where speeds of up to 160M bps are available in some regions, had attracted 4 million subscribers to bring the total number of high-speed connections in the country to 29.3 million.