A Japanese internet service provider has begun offering broadband plans with 2Gbps downloads and 1Gbps uploads to residents in Tokyo and six surrounding districts. The service provider believes that these high data speeds make it the world's fastest for commercial internet. PCWorld reports that the fiber internet service was launched today by the Sony-owned So-net and costs just under $51 per month, including rental of networking hardware that can accept the high speeds. However, the service requires an initial installation fee of around $537, and it must be purchased on a two-year contract.
Extremely high-speed internet is more commonplace in Japan, according to PCWorld, but So-net's offer still stands in stark juxtaposition to internet speeds in the United States. The US is only now beginning to see gigabit internet thanks in part to efforts from Google. After simply announcing the launch of gigabit internet in a second city, Google has done enough to shake up the broadband industry, even with speeds that are half as fast as what So-net offers, and at a higher cost.
Unfortunately, most consumers won't be able to fully utilize these high speeds. Most computers only accept a maximum of one gigabyte through a wired connection — and the situation for receiving internet over WiFi is even worse. The top speed for the current wireless standard would allow for less than one-third of Google Fiber's maximum download rate to be used. However, higher speeds can better handle multiple users on the same connection, even if individual computers can't take advantage of such services' full bandwidth.