World's fastest Internet arrives in Tokyo: 2Gbps for $50/mo

By on April 17, 2013, 6:30 PM

So-net, a Sony-owned Internet service provider, is busy rolling out 2 Gbps fiber-based Internet to Japan's Tokyo-area residents. Named "Nuro", the company's blazingly fast service is double the speed of Google Fiber and claims to be the fastest in the world. Just as impressive though is its price: about $50 per month. American fiber-optic offerings like Google Fiber and Verizon FiOS (150/65 Mbps) run $70 and $129 per month, respectively.

While Nuro's monthly cost and incredible speed are both undeniably attractive, there are a couple of caveats: a roughly $540 installation fee and a two-year contract. This fee is presumably to extend fiber connectivity to dwellings not yet on the grid, but that's a cost which Google has been absorbing for its gigabit subscribers. Also, Google only asks for a one-year contract.

Tokyo is possibly one of the most suitable places for fiber connectivity -- a high-tech, impressively dense urban landscape. In fact, Japan is currently second in the world when it comes to existing households boasting fiber connectivity. Nearly a quarter of all households in the country are already connected to fiber.

Nuro leverages Japan's sprawling Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network (GPON) -- a distribution of fiber connectivity reportedly capable of downstream speeds topping 2.488 Gbps.

Last week Google and AT&T announced plans to outfit Austin, Texas with fiber-based Internet service; however, those networks will "only" be 1 Gbps. When it comes to broadband speed, the U.S. continues to lag behind a number of smaller countries, earning a 12th place spot.




User Comments: 59

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2 people like this | madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If you break out the cost of the installation over the 24 month period, the monthly cost still ends up being ~$72.50 + plus any addl fees and taxes, then drops back down to $50 a month moving forward from there. I'd GLADLY absorb the initial installation cost for that kind of service, as long as I have at least 100Mbps of upstream traffic (even 50Mbps, but come on, downstream traffic is 2Gbps). My home server would love to swim in an ocean of bandwidth.

edit: however, one cost no one considers is the actual cost of living in Japan, and in Tokyo no less... Hint: it's atrocious for space and the comforts many Americans and Europeans are used to.

Guest said:

Oddly surprising last year a small town (pop. 7500) began rolling out Fiber service. For them its

1) $99 install fee $99/month and 3 year contract for that price.

OR

2) $99 install fee and $129 month to month with no contract.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

I like it when they try to make it a competition...

Twixtea said:

I'd pay an arm and a leg for a 2gbps connection, well not literally but yea.

I'm stuck here with 4mbps connection with capped monthly bandwith and people argue about the price of that connection.

Oh and I think it was Japan who intended to stream 4K video content by their media by 2015 iirc?

So any internet regarding bottlenecks are removed, Japanese are really serious when they strive for something, it's really admirable.

howzz1854 said:

I'd pay an arm and a leg for a 2gbps connection, well not literally but yea.

I'm stuck here with 4mbps connection with capped monthly bandwith and people argue about the price of that connection.

Oh and I think it was Japan who intended to stream 4K video content by their media by 2015 iirc?

So any internet regarding bottlenecks are removed, Japanese are really serious when they strive for something, it's really admirable.

just wait till you see what the Germans can do.

3 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

"When it comes to broadband speed, the U.S. continues to lag behind a number of smaller countries, earning a 12th place spot."

Yeah, all we need to do is take the population of every state west of the Mississippi and pack them into an area the size of California. That should make it easy to run fiber to everyone.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Comcast just double me from 50 down to 105 down with some tweaks

D3 modem Ubee 1GB port

Tweaked Connection removed all splitters from the CATV box.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Unless you want to stream a movie or two?. and stream music at the same time, and if you have a son and wants to play online and you realize 3 to 6 MBPS suck?. you're craving for at least 20mbps but your internet provider cracks open your wallet with their prices.

1 person liked this | MrBungle said:

Can we please get 10Gbps ethernet to become the defacto standard on everything so we can acutally use that kind of speed?

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Can we please get 10Gbps ethernet to become the defacto standard on everything so we can acutally use that kind of speed?

Good point

1 person liked this | windmill007 said:

Come on who needs that. Verizon assures me that my 3MB DSL is the best around!!! It's soooo freaking fast /s

Guest said:

And here in MB, Canada, we pay ~$70/month for a 15-20MB line, and if you don't need that much speed, a 256kb line costs, NO JOKE, $35/month. (at least from my ISP).

JC713 JC713 said:

Tokyo is ready for 4K. My 20MB download is good enough for me. No need for faster internet unless you are streaming 4K.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

The cost for 50 down was $99 bucks but with the $100 bucks off a month (on their dime because they have been over charging me) cost me like $14 with taxes. But now it's 105 down for the same $14 with taxes. But 105 with tweaks yields up to 132mb down. That's the fastest I ever had I've come along way from dial-up days 2.4kb, 9.6kb, 14kb, 56kb, adsl 1mb, 3mb, 5mb, cable 15mb, 20mb, 25mb, 30mb, 50mb and now 105mb.

Guest said:

Here in romania for 10 euro you have 100 mbps.:) but the minimum salary is just 180.

Stickmansam Stickmansam said:

I'm at about $35 for a 15mb down 150kb up in vancouver, canada. That's with a bundle deal though, non bundle is about $50

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Tokyo is ready for 4K. My 20MB download is good enough for me. No need for faster internet unless you are streaming 4K.

How about backing up data to cloud? Here's a case study for you. 155mins of 1920x1080 30fps (that is JPG compressed video at 11MB/s - not RGB encoded or RAW) video takes 100GB. That is standard output for a smartphone btw. If you have a 1mbps uplink, that takes 12 DAYS to upload. Tell me that is practical?

What if you take video for a living? A smartphone is low spec compared to professional kit. And that's just a video specific analogy. Uploading *anything* is a problem on current broadband in your country and mine.

1 person liked this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Just got to say this. What I am absolutely staggered about is how many people say "There is no need for faster internet" and "what would you use faster internet for?" because they don't know what to do with faster internet. That's backwards. How can you know what to do with it if you can't do anything now because you don't have that bandwidth *to do more*?

Working in an IT company, personally I have a hundred things that I would do faster. You know what we do at the moment when we need to get a copy of a 40GB database backup? We use Australia Post. That is absolutely hilarious - in the digital age, we POST a database backup on thumb drives or DVDs because it gets there faster than our internet would transfer it. A joke around the office is carrier pigeon would be faster - the risk is DoS by eagles.

Guest said:

And I pay $50 p/m for my 2Mbs line in South Africa....

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Japan gets all the good stuff T_T

Guest said:

Just got to say this. What I am absolutely staggered about is how many people say "There is no need for faster internet" and "what would you use faster internet for?" because they don't know what to do with faster internet. That's backwards. How can you know what to do with it if you can't do anything now because you don't have that bandwidth *to do more*?

Working in an IT company, personally I have a hundred things that I would do faster. You know what we do at the moment when we need to get a copy of a 40GB database backup? We use Australia Post. That is absolutely hilarious - in the digital age, we POST a database backup on thumb drives or DVDs because it gets there faster than our internet would transfer it. A joke around the office is carrier pigeon would be faster - the risk is DoS by eagles.

Everyone should be just like you then, right? With everyone constantly backing up all of their data, why are they even saying they don't need 2Gbps? Truly puzzling.

Arris Arris said:

Unless you want to stream a movie or two?. and stream music at the same time, and if you have a son and wants to play online and you realize 3 to 6 MBPS suck?. you're craving for at least 20mbps but your internet provider cracks open your wallet with their prices.

I moved recently from an area where I had about 15mbps to one that has 3mbps. Streaming LoveFilm movies suffers from hiccups and downloading games and updates takes forever!

I checked before I moved to see if better broadband would be available. Found that British Telecom would be rolling out fibre in the area in December 2012, and the unlimited package we are on means I'd get upgraded to 50-70mbps at no additional cost. Most of the area I live in have been upgraded, but one cabinet hasn't had fibre run to it yet, the one at the end of my street. Looks like it will be December 2013 before BT get their finger out! So frustrating knowing a couple of streets away have nice fast internet.

Edohiguma Edohiguma said:

Nothing new. NTT's sub-company OCN has been offering symmetric 1 Gpbs with their "OCN Hikari with FLET'S" since 2011. They're now just upping the ante.

1 person liked this | Edohiguma Edohiguma said:

Just got to say this. What I am absolutely staggered about is how many people say "There is no need for faster internet" and "what would you use faster internet for?" because they don't know what to do with faster internet. That's backwards. How can you know what to do with it if you can't do anything now because you don't have that bandwidth *to do more*?

Working in an IT company, personally I have a hundred things that I would do faster. You know what we do at the moment when we need to get a copy of a 40GB database backup? We use Australia Post. That is absolutely hilarious - in the digital age, we POST a database backup on thumb drives or DVDs because it gets there faster than our internet would transfer it. A joke around the office is carrier pigeon would be faster - the risk is DoS by eagles.

Everyone should be just like you then, right? With everyone constantly backing up all of their data, why are they even saying they don't need 2Gbps? Truly puzzling.

Yes, you should backup your data regularly. Common sense would dictate it. Even if it's just your email and browser data. Backups are good. It's just like when working on something the old rule still applies "Save, save, save and save again".

Guest said:

I wonder what it wil be like to have a 1 Mbps line lol

Guest said:

Correct me if I am wrong but, for a normal user, what's the point of having a download speed that exceeds the writing speed of HDD's? I mean theoritically 2GBps will give you about 200-250mbps download speed. My HDD can write at most 90mbps. Even if I had an SSD, it would have too few GBs so it wouldnt matter anyway. So my view is that, for the average user 2GBps is an overkill.

Guest said:

The guest above me have a valid point. I mean, if the HDD write speed can't keep up with the download speed, isn't that mean we wasted the bandwidth?

2Gbps is probably useful on certain circumstances, but as a normal user, I argue 2Gbps is needed everyday especially if my hardware couldn't keep up with it.

But hey, who knows? Probably they will make HDD with write speed nearing 2Gbps because of this.

misor misor said:

Lol, here in the Philippines (rough equivalent of 40 pesos to one u.s. dollar):

http://tattoo.globe.com.ph/

512kbps globe telecom wimax is ~20$/month

1mbps globe telecom wimax is ~25$/month

globe telecom wimax plus landline >30$/month

globe telecom fiber in selected areas in the national capital region from 10mbps, 15mbps, 50mpbs, 100mbps.

http://tattoo.globe.com.ph/torque/details

similar wimax rates with rival companies.

globe telecom offers rebates to customers who renew wimax contracts.

dsl is offered in cities and nearby towns.

wimax and lte coverage in selected areas only.

(the Philippines is an archipelagic country)

Guest said:

Well downstream speed is also depends on the other side connection.

200 - 250 MBps is on optimal condition I think, depends on how fast other servers send you the data.

Guest said:

..and here in my country, I must pay about $15 per month for connection up to 3.1mbps with 5 GB usage/quota

Guest said:

Shame on Eastern Canada. 5mpbs Down .5 up for about the same price.

wiyosaya said:

Meanwhile, the US continues its use of sneakernet for the same price as 2Gbs service in Japan.

wiyosaya said:

Correct me if I am wrong but, for a normal user, what's the point of having a download speed that exceeds the writing speed of HDD's? I mean theoritically 2GBps will give you about 200-250mbps download speed. My HDD can write at most 90mbps. Even if I had an SSD, it would have too few GBs so it wouldnt matter anyway. So my view is that, for the average user 2GBps is an overkill.

Imagine streaming video directly to your TV instead of your HD. IMHO, that scenario would be a prime use of those types of speeds.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

And I am paying $105 for Timewarner Digital TV w/ HD Channels and "Turbo" 2.5mpbs! AAAARRRGGGHHHHH

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The guest above me have a valid point. I mean, if the HDD write speed can't keep up with the download speed, isn't that mean we wasted the bandwidth?
Our vehicle engines must be wasted as well when we are forced to drive a speed limit. An ISP bandwidth cap is nothing more than a speed limit because of various conditions. The condition you mention would simply be your own limitation, not a cap set by the ISP's.

The waste would be how such high bandwidth would be used, while others would not have options for this service. But then who cares how this service is paid for as long as it is progression. Progression means eventually everyone will have the service, it's only a matter of time. The only true questions are, how much time would it take to supply everyone with this service and what is the hold back?

JC713 JC713 said:

How about backing up data to cloud? Here's a case study for you. 155mins of 1920x1080 30fps (that is JPG compressed video at 11MB/s - not RGB encoded or RAW) video takes 100GB. That is standard output for a smartphone btw. If you have a 1mbps uplink, that takes 12 DAYS to upload. Tell me that is practical?

What if you take video for a living? A smartphone is low spec compared to professional kit. And that's just a video specific analogy. Uploading *anything* is a problem on current broadband in your country and mine.

Well you are talking about a completely different sector though. If someone was a professional, they would have professional equipment. Hence, you will need the best internet. The norm here in New York is beginning to move from 15 Mbps Download / 5 Mbps upload, to 50 Mbps Download / 25 Mbps Upload for 10 bucks more. They dont even provide a replacement router for the glitchy one they provided me. They are forcing me to move to the faster internet since they dont have anymore routers for the lower end internet speeds. They are all refurbished. My point is that there are packages especially suited for professionals. A 50down/25up speed would yield a 12 hour upload time for the type of file you mentioned. And a 100 Mbps will yield a 6 hour upload window. That may not be convenient But it does suit peoples needs. But I see where you are going, there can be a need for this internet speed. But in the end, it is a luxury.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The norm here in New York is beginning to move from 15 Mbps Download / 5 Mbps upload, to 50 Mbps Download / 25 Mbps Upload for 10 bucks more. They are forcing me to move to the faster internet since they dont have anymore routers for the lower end internet speeds.
I hope they are not forcing the extra $10 on you because of their lack in supplies. However I do see this technique used quite often, forcing people with broken products into new contracts. New contracts that require extra features because of new hardware capabilities.

MrBungle said:

Correct me if I am wrong but, for a normal user, what's the point of having a download speed that exceeds the writing speed of HDD's? I mean theoritically 2GBps will give you about 200-250mbps download speed. My HDD can write at most 90mbps. Even if I had an SSD, it would have too few GBs so it wouldnt matter anyway. So my view is that, for the average user 2GBps is an overkill.

Its worse than that, the vast overwhelming majority of network connections are 1Gbps... motherboard NICs haven't sped up in a decade, you'd need a managed switch and 2+ NICs in a NIC team or a 10Gbps network connection to even be able to keep up with your internet connection. Either of those options are going to cost a grand or more (since it requires enterprise class gear) to setup putting it out of reach of most consumers.

JC713 JC713 said:

I hope they are not forcing the extra $10 on you because of their lack in supplies. However I do see this technique used quite often, forcing people with broken products into new contracts. New contracts that require extra features because of new hardware capabilities.

I am not gonna pay verizon 1 more dollar. I already spend >$300 with them per month with cellular + home phone/internet/cable(DVR) including equipment costs.

1 person liked this |
Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Correct me if I am wrong but, for a normal user, what's the point of having a download speed that exceeds the writing speed of HDD's? I mean theoritically 2GBps will give you about 200-250mbps download speed. My HDD can write at most 90mbps. Even if I had an SSD, it would have too few GBs so it wouldnt matter anyway. So my view is that, for the average user 2GBps is an overkill.

This doesn't invalidate your point, but your hard drive likely reaches 90MB/sec rather than 90Mbps -- 90Mbps is just over 11MB/sec... this is a matter of bits vs. bytes.

Even so, 2Gbps is still 250MB/sec which is still much faster than any consumer mechanical hard drive.

It's worth noting that replacing your HDD with a modern SSD would remove that bottleneck, though.

Geforcepat Geforcepat said:

That's it! I'm moving to Tokyo

Lionvibez said:

Correct me if I am wrong but, for a normal user, what's the point of having a download speed that exceeds the writing speed of HDD's? I mean theoritically 2GBps will give you about 200-250mbps download speed. My HDD can write at most 90mbps. Even if I had an SSD, it would have too few GBs so it wouldnt matter anyway. So my view is that, for the average user 2GBps is an overkill.

This doesn't invalidate your point, but your hard drive likely reaches 90MB/sec rather than 90Mbps -- 90Mbps is just over 11MB/sec... this is a matter of bits vs. bytes.

Even so, 2Gbps is still 250MB/sec which is still much faster than any consumer mechanical hard drive.

It's worth noting that replacing your HDD with a modern SSD would remove that bottleneck, though.

Agreed with the SSD.

you also have option B

Which is just to Raid 0 two or three hard drives which will bring that write speed up to 200-300+ mb. And Hard drive are cheap these days.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Well you are talking about a completely different sector though. If someone was a professional, they would have professional equipment. Hence, you will need the best internet. The norm here in New York is beginning to move from 15 Mbps Download / 5 Mbps upload, to 50 Mbps Download / 25 Mbps Upload for 10 bucks more. They dont even provide a replacement router for the glitchy one they provided me. They are forcing me to move to the faster internet since they dont have anymore routers for the lower end internet speeds. They are all refurbished. My point is that there are packages especially suited for professionals. A 50down/25up speed would yield a 12 hour upload time for the type of file you mentioned. And a 100 Mbps will yield a 6 hour upload window. That may not be convenient But it does suit peoples needs. But I see where you are going, there can be a need for this internet speed. But in the end, it is a luxury.

With services moving to cloud based, it is becoming the norm. Definitely not a luxury as any country with modern infrastructure like South Korea, Japan, Sweden etc have.

In our country, a home user usually has access to copper connections with 1mbps uploads. With fibre rollout, physical limitations on downlink and uplink speeds are removed and people have the *option* of choosing a plan that suits their needs. Without fibre, you are chained to much harsher physical limitations. I.e. your options are far more limited.

I'd love 50mbps/25mbps but that simply is not an option here because the physical infrastructure to provide that doesn't exist.

Also, our company approached 3rd party fibre providers. We were quoted $20,000 per MONTH for 100mbit fibre. If fibre was available via the NBN (national fibre rollout that has not completed and may be prevented by the opposition party here), we would pay $150 per month for the exact same specifications and download/upload limits. There are very few companies that can justify that price for that level of service. Let alone individuals who are professionals!

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Agreed with the SSD.

you also have option B

Which is just to Raid 0 two or three hard drives which will bring that write speed up to 200-300+ mb. And Hard drive are cheap these days.

Also a single OCZ Vector or Samsung 840 Pro does 500+MB write. RAID-0 and you are looking at close to 1GB/s. That is gigabyte not gigabit. Can do that for close to a dollar a GB. Disk speed is not the bottleneck!

It's funny how SATA 3, ethernet speed are now big factors.

JC713 JC713 said:

Wow 20K for fiber. I guess I am fortunate for standard fiber here in the US.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Wow 20K for fiber. I guess I am fortunate for standard fiber here in the US.

Yes we were stunned. Needless to say we went with bonded ADSL2+ connections.

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

110mbs down 25 up for $112 a month and no install fee with Comcast. A $540 install fee and sign a 2 yr contract? Lol. No one here in the US would do that.

Lionvibez said:

Also a single OCZ Vector or Samsung 840 Pro does 500+MB write. RAID-0 and you are looking at close to 1GB/s. That is gigabyte not gigabit. Can do that for close to a dollar a GB. Disk speed is not the bottleneck!

It's funny how SATA 3, ethernet speed are now big factors.

It isn't really a big factor now.

More than 80% of the US doesn't have anything close to 1Gbps speeds only whoever can get google currently. I think that bottleneck will be a bigger issues in 5+ years.

Lionvibez said:

110mbs down 25 up for $112 a month and no install fee with Comcast. A $540 install fee and sign a 2 yr contract? Lol. No one here in the US would do that.

speak for yourself.

If I could get this service I would pay a $1000 install and sign a 5 year contract.

As long as there are no data caps I'm sold.

Guest said:

London now getting 120mb via cable/fibre for around £32pm they bundle it all up with TV, phone and Tivo so they end up charging any where from £45 to 85. Can also bundle in mobile as well. One freakin bill for all, one bill to rule them. Me ? thinking of fibre @ 80mb for £24 inc line rental. special deal for friends.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

To everyone talking about how very fast connections wasted on anything other than SSD drives... you're not looking at the big picture. The advantage is not the maximum transfer rate, but being able to provide to more devices with more bandwidth per device.

My home has three desktop computers connected to a 25Mbps connection, and lets say they are all downloading a large file. In an ideal scenario, that bandwidth would be split three ways, a little over 8Mbps or 1MBps. Now, say I had a 100Mbps connection, then I'd have 33Mbps to each computer, or 4MBps. Now scale to 2Gbps. That's 666mbps or 83MBps between the three. I could dig that.

Now, not everyone has three desktop computers, but the more bandwidth you have, the lower possibility of one device adversely affecting the connectivity of another.

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