Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Japan - Proposal from Softbank to roll-out a fibre network

[news] A NEW proposal to build a broadband network in Japan shows that wireless technology is inferior to fibre, says the Federal Government.

Japanese telecommunications company Softbank last week floated a plan to build a new fibre-optic broadband network in Japan, similar to the one being rolled out across Australia.

The plan would require the assistance of the Japanese Government and two other telcos, KDDI and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT), and would cost about ¥500 billion ($6.2 billion).

NTT is 40-per-cent owned by the Japanese Government.

Softbank chief Masayoshi Son said the plan was for a fibre network because technical hurdles with wireless made cabling cheaper and more viable.

Debate over the merits of wireless and fibre has been a recurring feature of arguments about the Federal Government's national broadband network.

Under the Government's plan, fibre-optic cables are being laid out to 93 per cent of premises in the country.

The Opposition says the network is too expensive and should be replaced in part by wireless.

But the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy this week said the Japanese proposal vindicated the Government's decision.

"The Softbank proposal advocates that fibre is the preferred technology for ultra high-speed broadband, even in Japan where mobile internet services are popular," a department spokesperson told

"Fibre is a superior transmission medium. The cable is cheap, has negligible latency issues, and has incredible bandwidth capability. Unlike wireless, the information-carrying capacity of the fibre itself is almost unlimited."

Japan broadband proposal shows fibre-optic's best

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