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Column - Japan's Internet infrastructure

One of the World's Best

Japan's Internet infrastructure is some of the best maintained in the world. Japan consistently maintains Internet speeds faster than other similar countries, and this enables Japanese citizens to live and work at the cutting edge of technology. There are a number of reasons why Japan's Internet is highly effective; among them, the accessible infrastructure, access to DSL/broadband internet, and commitment to growth rank highly. Additionally, access to Internet-enabled technology is extremely prevalent in Japan, making it easy and relatively inexpensive to access Internet services.

Open network infrastructure

One of the main advantages that Japan has over the United States and other countries is the openness of its network. While the United States allows private phone companies to control access to Internet infrastructure, the Japanese government forced large telecommunications companies to open up access to the Internet. This allow small Internet providers a chance to enter the market, which lead to increased competition between service providers that keeps costs down and rates up. The telecommunications market in Japan is divided between public and private companies.

Fast speeds

Indeed, DSL and broadband speeds in Japan are some of the fastest in the world, with speeds of more than 30 times the broadband speeds available in the United States. Structurally, this is aided by the physical network wiring in the country. The wire used to transmit data signals is newer than that in the US, and runs over a shorter distance, making connection speeds faster.

Wide-reaching networks

DSL speeds are widely recognized as some of the fastest connections, and Japan's wide-reaching network infrastructure allows for many people to access these connections in their homes. In 2017, approximately 90 million people, or 94% of all Japanese citizens, had access to the Internet, compared to about 87%* of United States citizens in 2016 and 90%** of British citizens in 2017. Due to Japan's commitment to maintaining and regularly upgrading the nation's Internet and network infrastructure, the speeds and capabilities available in Japan are largely unmatched in the rest of the world.
(Source: *Pew Research Center, **Office for National Statistics, UK)

Internet-accessible devices

Internet-accessible devices Most people in Japan use personal computers and laptops to access the internet, with about 82 million people using personal computers to access Internet services. The second-most popular way of accessing Internet services was by using a mobile device such as a cellphone or tablet; about 75 million Japanese people access the Internet in this fashion. While today's gaming consoles do have advanced Internet connectivity and even Internet browsing capabilities, only about 5 million Japanese people access the Internet in this fashion.

 

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