Speed is of utmost importance when it comes to using the internet. A fast internet connection speed ensures continuous and uninterrupted browsing, video streaming, uploading and downloading of files. The speed factor is crucial for people who work and run a business online. It enables them to do their tasks without delay.
Fortunately, this need for speed is being addressed by many internet service providers (ISP) today. Normally, providers charge a high fee for a fast net access but this situation is now changing with the introduction of affordable and super fast web connection service in Southeast Asia.
U.S. vs. Japan Internet Service
The U.S. and Japan are now closely competing in the area of internet connection speed. Japan is said to be taking the lead with an ISP now offering broadband plans of up to 2Gbps download speeds and 1Gbps upload speed.
Latest reports from PC World say So-net, a local and Sony-supported ISP in Tokyo, has got the edge in terms of net speed. It currently offers download speeds that are twice as fast as Google Fiber and upload speeds up to 1Gbps. Other than Tokyo, So-net covers six other prefectures in Japan.
But if you think this kind of top quality service commands a high price, So-net actually charges only $51 monthly fee for a lock-in contract of two years. This rate is way cheaper than the $70 monthly fee charged by Google Fiber.
In the U.S., internet connection of 7.4 mbps can be considered slow compared to other countries and even costly. One exception is Google Fiber which offers a 1 Gbps internet service. Google is the first to introduce gigabit internet in the U.S. but at a high cost.
The U.S. was able to increase its internet speeds by 28 percent in recent years but despite this, it still ranks only 8th in the global list. Those on the top five spots are Japan, Hong Kong, Latvia, Germany and Switzerland. While this has no direct relevance to the political issues and tensions between these countries, Japanese political leaders will be heartened by the fact that it is able to continue online dominance, in the wake of controversies such as the Korean comfort women.
There are several reasons why Japan leads in this aspect. Experts point out that Tokyo, for instance, is a closely packed city which makes it easy for providers to rollout their fiber. In addition, the Japanese government has been making solid moves to hike fiber proliferation around its country.
Meanwhile, the U.S. still needs to exert more effort if it wants to improve its internet infrastructure. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should take the lead in this endeavor.