Image: jarmoluk (Pixabay)

Americans have plenty to gloat about when it comes to technology, but other countries are putting our internet services to shame.

That would include Japan, whose Nippon Telegraph and Telephone corporations (NTT East, NTT West) have just announced a 10 Gbps upgrade for its “FLET’S Hikari” optical broadband service. It costs only $55 a month.

Image: NTT West

That’s an incredible deal compared to what America’s most popular ISPs are charging: AT&T ($70/mo. for 1 Gbps), Comcast Xfinity ($299.95/mo. for 2 Gbps), Cox ($99.99/mo. for 940 Mbps), Spectrum ($109.99/mo. for 940 Mbps), and Verizon ($79.99/mo. for 940 Mbps).

In its news release, NTT defended the need for these ludicrous broadband speeds due to the proliferation of UHD video, which requires a lot more bandwidth, as well as modern games.

“Recently, customers need large-capacity data communication due to the high quality of video contents such as high-definition 4K / 8K video and the spread of new experiences using online games and xR (VR, AR, MR) technology. Opportunities to use the service are increasing. “

NTT warns that the actual transmission speed is 10 percent lower than the advertised number due to technical quirks (e.g., “data necessary for ensuring communication quality”), but that’s still a heck of a lot faster than what the average user has over here.

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20 Comments

  1. My wife works at Specturm/Charter .. so we get free basic internet and cable.. we have 400/20 (which is a step up from basic I guess so it costs us $20 a month). … not in Japanese category though .. not even close

  2. I used to pay about $110 a month for 1Gbps from AT&T U-Verse. Unfortunately, my current neighborhood is all Frontier FIOS. I’m now paying about $100 a month for 500/500mbps. I had been paying nearly twice that before I called them up recently and asked them why I was getting boned so hard when new subscribers were paying only $100 a month for more bandwidth AFTER their introductory period was over.

  3. Wow, that is nuts.

    I was under the impression the U.S. had mostly caught up at this point. I mean, I have gigabit service from FIOS , but it isn’t exactly super cheap.

    Moving to 10Gig WAN poses a number of new challenges though.

    What do you use for routing? What interface is it provided via? Fiber? Do you need a router with SFP+ capacity? I could easily build a pfSense box to take care of this, but many won’t.

    Would you even come close to using it what with most consumer hardware now being on wifi, and what ships with Ethernet ports usually being Gigabit. Maybe if you have a large household?

    I mean, again, I have a dual 10gig x520 adapter in my workstation at home, but I am certainly in the minority there…

  4. Sheeeeit, I could use 10GB service. My current router supports 10GBE via SFP+.

    I looked in to Spectrum’s gig service. It’s available to me. But….it still has shitty upload speed. I think it’s only 50 mbps up. And from reviews most people in my area rarely see over 700 mbps down. Not worth the $140/month they want for it. I get 400/20 service now for $65/month and I get every bit of that speed almost always. Really I see about 430/25.

  5. [QUOTE=”Strelok, post: 10579, member: 237″]
    These comparisons are always pretty silly, Japan is TINY compared to the US.
    [/QUOTE]

    Seriously, size doesn’t matter.

    It’s a smaller country, but also has a smaller population.

    Sure we have more rural areas but that doesn’t explain why our more populated areas aren’t competitive.

  6. [QUOTE=”Zarathustra, post: 10583, member: 203″]
    Seriously, size doesn’t matter.

    It’s a smaller country, but also has a smaller population.

    Sure we have more rural areas but that doesn’t explain why our more populated areas aren’t competitive.
    [/QUOTE]

    Then why are all the countries with the highest speeds also the smallest? It does matter, the population density is much higher too. It’s about 90/sq mi for the US and 870/sq mile for Japan.

    There are many places with 1gbps up/down in the US, and I’m pretty sure almost any “populated” area at least offers 100/10. Prices aren’t competitive, but that’s a different issue.

  7. [QUOTE=”Strelok, post: 10592, member: 237″]
    Then why are all the countries with the highest speeds also the smallest? It does matter, the population density is much higher too. It’s about 90/sq mi for the US and 870/sq mile for Japan.

    There are many places with 1gbps up/down in the US, and I’m pretty sure almost any “populated” area at least offers 100/10. Prices aren’t competitive, but that’s a different issue.
    [/QUOTE]

    I agree with you that Japan has very high population density, and that makes it easier to route wiring for internet access.

    The truth however is that this only explains away deficiencies in rural areas of the U.S. we have very many high population density areas as well, and while quite a few of them offer gigabit residential service (I have it) they do it at overinflated prices and I don’t think we are anywhere near getting 10gigabit.

    The issue is not the size of the country for these areas. The issue is how we let private enterprise slice up territories that guarantee they never compete with each other. In most areas if you don’t like Verizon, or SBC or Comcast or whoever you have, you can pound sand because there is no real alternative. We need competition to drive improvement, or we need to get rid of the private enterprise model for internet all together.

    I could picture an either federally owned or nonprofit consortium owned backbone (operated by external contractors) following the Interstate system, selling bandwidth to local ISP’s who only manage the last mile of service.

    This would get rid of so many of the issues we have with internet today, including availability of service, net neutrality, manipulation of peering sites by big tier 1 network players to favor their other business interests, etc

    The Tier 1 networks having too much control is a very big part of the issue here in the U.S. we need to break them down and make them less relevant.

  8. [QUOTE=”Uvilla, post: 10600, member: 397″]
    The issue is that the US been a can’t do country for decades.
    [/QUOTE]

    When you are depending on private enterprise to take action and build out infrastructure, but every single incentive for them is to preserve the status quo, the outcome is very predictable.

  9. Backbone issues are real; but the real issue is last mile connectivity. Google Fiber’s rollout showed that having a lot of money and good PR can’t roll out an overlay network in a reasonable amount of time. Small community organizations have a tougher time. Forcing line sharing makes more sense, and if well regulated, would lead to choices in many markets where if the local incumbent doesn’t have the routing / network policies you want, you could switch IP providers, without needing to run a new line to your house. Certainly, some networks have congestion issues in the last mile, and this wouldn’t resolve that, but if your packets get shunted to your choice of provider at the local headend, your provider can take care of the rest.

    Congress passed a law for this in 1996, but for some reason, the FCC applied it only to telephone and DSL providers, and then later decided that wasn’t fair so they applied it to nobody. Telephone providers did a lot of stuff to make it hard to offer a competing network, but even still, some competing networks were able to offer a competitive service and survive; things like plain Ethernet over ATM instead of PPP over Ethernet over ATM, and better IP routing and usage policies, and static IPs were easily available from the line sharing providers when they weren’t from the incumbent. Of course, when the incumbent sells to end users at below the wholesale price, and doesn’t design line sharing into last mile upgrades, that doesn’t work long term. Really, the future model should be Regional Broadband Operating Companies that run the last mile lines and provide an aggregated connection for ISPs to provide long distance services on top of. Every central office and cable headend becomes a micro internet exchange in this model.

  10. [QUOTE=”Uvilla, post: 10606, member: 397″]
    Meh starlink is going to screw everyone and their Monopoly.
    [/QUOTE]

    Lol. I’ll believe when I see it.

    Even if it does happen, I fully expect poor reliability and high latency.

    I simply say “no thanks” to anything wireless.

  11. [QUOTE=”Strelok, post: 10579, member: 237″]
    These comparisons are always pretty silly, Japan is TINY compared to the US.
    [/QUOTE]

    Then a company shouldn’t have a problem wiring up an even smaller city, like New York or Chicago, with speeds that meets what residents in Japan are able to get, right?

  12. I pay $140+ a month for 50mb fios+TV. This news sorta makes me sad… but honestly I have yet to bottom out 50mb, and that is with massive downloads, streaming, and work vpn connections all at the same time. I find that most of the speed issues are upstream…. PSN (sucks), Steam (varies on time+day), MS, etc etc

    Now I do notice that fios tv on-demand goes nuts if I am abusing the downstream, but youtube and netflix don’t so I’ll call that a fios/frontier issue.

    Still, I would like to get faster speeds… but not at the insane prices that frontier wants. New subscribers can get short term better deals, but the old reliable customers who have paid their bills on time for years and years get the (price) shaft.

  13. Studies that controlled for ” the size argument” still demonstrate US is behind. No excuses, just lack of investment, quater to quarter mentality. Laziness, corruption.

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