Look at what they’re finally confirming:
Japan Offers by Far Fastest, Cheapest Broadband Services: OECD
April 21, 2004 (PARIS) — Japanese firms are offering by far the cheapest and fastest broadband services of companies operating in 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to the first such report compiled by the international organization.
The survey, which was conducted in October 2003, shows Japanese companies leading the pack with KDDI Corp, NTT East Corp. and usen Corp offering throughput of over 100Mbps with their fiber-optic networks.
This really trickles my bits. My pal and I talked about this happening over three years ago, when Korea was still the place to be for broadband, and I was paying about 18,000 yen per month for dual channel ISDN (including both ISP and telco charges) service out here on Awaji Island. Since then my upgrade path went from 1.5 Mbps ADSL to 8Mbps ADSL, and finally to what I use now, 100Mbps FTTH. I am really sad because now there is nowhere to move up from here (maybe I can hope for that laser-based transmission technology next). In fact, I am planning on moving down, as far down as I can possibly go: dial-up. That’s right, the shrill screeching of analog modem handshakes will keep me company once again. I wrote about it in this post around when I started this blog, and Thailand still has no viable plans for broadband in sight. Things move slower there.
This passage was very interesting:
It has been difficult to conduct a comparison of telecom services offered in various countries, since there is no fixed worldwide definition for broadband. The OECD report defines a broadband service as one offering round-the-clock Internet connectivity and a download speed of at least 250kbps.
If this 250kbps standard was adopted worldwide, I think a lot of people in the US would be angry that the ADSL service they pay for isn’t even considered broadband. I was really shocked by the number of regular computer users in the states who say they don’t need broadband or can’t afford it. That’s a crying shame. It really should be made a lot cheaper and a hell of a lot faster than it is now.
Then again, why am I worried about you guys back home? When I’m checking line polarity before jacking in somewhere along the Mekong in a year or so, I will envy all of you. I do not relish the thought of reverting from the instant gratification of always-connected mode to a dial-up frame of mind: No downloads. No multiplayer games. No mindless clickfests. Oh, well. I guess I’ll spend my time finding other things to do. Maybe I’ll get my laughs by training an army of pocket monkeys to fling feces at passing water buffalo riders, or something.
Gecko racing, anyone?