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Japanese ISP unveils 2Gbps fibre-based internet

So-net Entertainment, an internet service provider backed by Sony, has launched the world’s fastest internet service for home use at 2Gbps for downloads and 1Gbps for uploads.

These speeds are made possible thanks to the use of GPON (or Gigabit Passive Optics Networks) which supports up to 2.5Gbps downstream. The service, called Nuro, debuted on Monday in homes, apartment and small businesses in Tokyo and a number of surrounding districts.

The fiber-based service costs around 5,000 Yen, roughly £33 per month on a two-year contract plus a whopping 32,340 Yen installation charge (about £215), a fee which is waived for those applying online.

The service includes the rental of an optical network unit (ONU) which can handle such high speeds. Currently most consumer-grade equipment (laptops, desktops, routers or set top boxes) are equipped with 10/100Mbps network interface cards or, for more recent ones, 1Gbps ones.

Japan has one of the world’s highest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) penetration with around a quarter of households equipped.

This is partly due to the very high population density which allows fibre to be rolled out at a minimal cost. In the UK, Virgin Media, which is known owned by Liberty Media, has rolled out an internet service that tops 120Mbps.

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