It appears as though the competition for highest internet speed is on the move as the use of optic fiber connections begins to make lasting strides. Broadband, a term once upon a time used to describe wider band frequency usage to provide faster data throughput rates, has now become a mere marketing gimmick by ISPs advertising their high-speed services. Now, it seems as though the key word to look out for is “fiber.” With that, just a few days ago, a Japanese ISP launched its new fiber connection service that boasts the world’s fastest data rate at 2 Gbps.
Nuro promotional image - relaying almost zero information. (via Nuro)
Fiber optic communication currently reigns supreme in wired networking thanks to its simple principle of carrying data through fast moving pulses of light. Google Fiber has recently pioneered the efforts of providing its blazing speed connections to a limited number of cities in the United States - Kansas City (MO and KS), Austin, and a handful of others will soon have 1 Gbps connections available. The reason for such slow implementation is simply due to the complexity involved in implementing an optic fiber network - lots of time, effort, and money goes into taking down and putting up new connection lines. Thus, densely packed communities are most likely to benefit more immediate implementation as is seen by the United Arab Emirates’ 70% fiber availability, and Japan’s recent move raising its availability to 25% of households.
Japan’s So-net Entertainment ISP is being backed by Sony during the launch of its “Nuro” fiber-based service. To be available for the upgrade, residents must be located within the Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Saitama, Tochigi, or Tokyo regions of the country. The service will cost customers ¥4,980 ($51 USD) for a two-year contract on top of a one-time ¥52,500 ($537 USD) installation fee. Their monthly bill will also cover the rental of an Optical Network Unite (ONU) - a device necessary for converting high-speed fiber connections for in home, broadband use.
Due to the lack of computer network support for fiber connections, it is unlikely that Nuro fiber internet subscribers will actually see speeds close to the advertised 2Gbps down/1Gbps up anytime soon. As these fast internet connections become more abundant with time, network adapters capable of handling such speeds will too begin making their way into more homes. Let’s hope the technology roll-out begins making its way to our respective communities soon.
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