Shinkansen Internet - Part Deux!

by Sachin Balagopalan on February 24, 2008 · 1 comment

Japan’s space agency this morning launched a rocket into space carrying an experimental communications satellite called “Kizuna”.The ultimate goal is to deliver super high-speed internet that would offer speeds of up to 1.2 gigabytes per second, according to an AP report and the number one discussion on Techmeme tonight.

Last summer I blogged about my experience with the internet while my wife and I were in Japan a few years ago. It was analogous to their “other” fast network - Shinkansen. We were blown away at how fast the connection speeds were - and this was approximately five or six years ago. Japan and South Korea have the worlds fastest internet connections to date and it looks like they are not resting on their laurels. Virtually every home, rural and urban is lined with fiber-optic - an initiative taken by Japan’s largest phone company in response to their governments mandate to un-bundle the traditional copper wires. One of the very few times government interference actually worked IMO! Of-course in all fairness it is a lot easier to line a country that’s the size of Rhode-Island than the U.S. for example.

Now it looks like they are taking it to the next level with this experimental satellite. While the fat lobbyists line the hallways of congress and the equally bloated execs of our fine telecommunications companies in the US figure out ways to fleece the masses in every conceivable way, countries like Japan are moving full speed ahead - literally and figuratively speaking. Not only are they trying to explore the best technology in terms of bandwidth but they are doing it with the intention of making it affordable to everyone.

As I wait for Verizon FIOS to become available in my neighborhood (and I’m willing to pay whatever, just hook me up already!) I can only hope that Japan will someday sell me my super high-speed internet connection and at a competitive rate to boot - kinda like how they prompted me to turn in my GM/Ford/Chrysler automobile for a Toyota/Honda/Mazda.

We invent and they sell us our invention - Go figure!

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