Sony ‘Nuro’: Google Fiber Humbled By Faster, Cheaper ISP Solution From Japan

on April 16 2013 5:03 PM
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An emerging technology called LTE Broadcast could revolutionize the way we watch video on mobile devices. Courtesy/Google

Google wants Google Fiber to be the fastest and most affordable Internet solution for consumers, particularly here in the U.S. where we’re deprived of such speeds, but Sony on Tuesday just introduced a new Internet service that makes Fiber look like amateur hour.

Compared to Google Fiber, which offers 1 Gbps download speeds starting at $70 a month, Sony’s new fiber-based ISP “Nuro” costs just $51 a month and delivers lightning upload and download speeds of 1 Gbps and 2 Gbps, respectively.

Nuro, which is operated by Sony-owned So-net Entertainment, first rolled out to Tokyo residents on Monday, hooking into homes, apartments and small businesses in the city and six surrounding jurisdictions.

“Light Nuro is a new service that provides a simple and reasonably priced high-quality service at a very high speed,” So-net said in a press release (translated by Google).

Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) projects are popular in Asia: China currently orders all newly-built residences to install fiber optic connections, and the Japanese government has similarly made a strong effort to connect private residences to the fiber network. According to data from regional FTTH organizations, roughly 25 percent of Japanese households are connected to fiber, which is the second highest percentage in the world after Hong Kong.

According to So-net, the Nuro service uses Japan’s Gigabit-capable Passive Optics Networks (GPON), which can support download speeds up to 2.488 Gbps.

“In the home, you can simultaneously connect a variety of devices to a wired or wireless PC, smart phones, game consoles, TVs and tablets [to] enjoy on-demand rich content in the communication speed of up to a possible total of 2Gbps,” So-net said. “We provide security services that can be used free of charge up to five [devices].”

Just a week ago, Google and AT&T both announced they would introduce their fledgling gigabit Internet networks to Austin, Texas, but both of those services will only offer download speeds of 1 Gbps.

But with the minor speed boost from Google Fiber and AT&T, the U.S. is still much further behind other countries in regards to Internet speed. According to Bloomberg, there are 13 other countries with faster connection speeds than the U.S., including (in order) Singapore, Israel, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Belgium, Romania, Latvia, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. 

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