Change your internet and get gift vouchers, or a Wii

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Japanese internet is the best in the world, hands-down. But if you’re moving house or if you’ve had your internet contract for over 2 years, I strongly suggest you head to your nearest electronics store and change your internet provider. Having recently moved, we went into town to get signed up for some high speed internets. Since this is something we were going to be getting no matter what, I was eager to take advantage of any offer or campaign we could. We ended up getting 20,000 yen worth of BicCamera vouchers for signing up in-store for NTT hikari-fibre 100mb connection (the price is the same by the way, whether you sign up in store or phone them directly). The only catch was that we had to sign up for cable television for at least 3 months too, the first two months of which was free and of which the 3rd month cost us 6,000 yen; and the fact that we are locked into a two-year contract. Still, with the extortionate key-money and deposit we payed on this place you can be damn sure we’re not moving for at least two years. So after canceling the worthless cable TV today, we still ended up 14,000 yen in the positive – which we promptly used to buy a second-hand Nintendo Wii! We later found out that BicCamera was also running a similar campaign where you could just get a Wii instead of the vouchers, so I guess you might want to look into the deals a little bit more than we did.

Who is your current provider, and how good is it? Any plans to change? In my own experience, NTT hikari lines are by far the fastest – I had a Yahoo BB ADSL connection when I first came here, but the speed was pathetic and often it would just disconnect – I’ve only ever heard complaints from friends with regard to their BB connection too. I guess it’s pretty obvious when you consider that NTT brings a dedicated fiber-optic cable into your house while Yahoo/Softbank BB is essentially running through a standard telephone line. BB do seem to advertise better though – reminds me of the old days where any magazine you bought would have an AOL cd attached – carpet bomb marketing I guess you could call it.

10 thoughts on “Change your internet and get gift vouchers, or a Wii

  1. Best internet in the world?? Might want to research that as that could not be further from the truth =)

  2. Sure Dox, here’s a copy from speedtest.net – you’re right, Japan is the world’s second best. Korea is best. I wouldn’t really call that so far from the truth though.

    Top Countries by Download Speed

    * 19.35 Mb/s Korea, Republic of
    * 16.19 Mb/s Japan
    * 14.73 Mb/s Aland Islands
    * 12.46 Mb/s Sweden
    * 12.42 Mb/s Lithuania
    * 11.53 Mb/s Latvia
    * 11.46 Mb/s Romania
    * 10.73 Mb/s Bulgaria
    * 9.76 Mb/s Netherlands
    * 8.54 Mb/s Moldova, Republic of
    * 8.08 Mb/s Slovakia
    * 7.99 Mb/s Germany
    * 7.86 Mb/s Russian Federation
    * 7.66 Mb/s Switzerland
    * 7.57 Mb/s Denmark

    You may be particularly interested to note that Australia is quite low on the list, as is the UK and USA.

  3. You never said Japan had the best internet in the world hands down because of speed though.
    If that is what you meant you should edit your article to reflect that.
    The internet isn’t only about speed, its also about quality and accessibility (which is where japan lacks)

  4. Ok, I’m curious. What do you mean Japanese internet limited in terms of quality and accessibility?

    Japan has liberal bandwidth limits, if any; current legislation makes downloading copyrighted LEGAL (only uploading is illegal) – which part is limited?

    Are you confusing Japan with China perhaps? Then I would be inclined to agree with you, when we are talking about a socialist government-controlled firewall.

    I stand by my point; Japan has the best internet in terms of speed, accessibility, legislation… everything.

  5. Japan actually has a low broadband accessibility rate. That’s one of the main reasons the government is spending billions (in US$) on upgrading country wide networks to dramatically increase coverage.

    I understand people are quite excited about the state of Japanese internet when they move there from overseas but Dox is right. Speed isn’t everything and until their penetration is dramatically increased with their new projects they are not offering the best service in the world. Did you know also 3G network is more popular in Japan? Are you aware of how poorly cooperate services perform globally using Japanese infrastructure? That is also another reason the government is spending billions. In three years time this is all going to be very efficient.
    I think you are joking about legislation too as well all know what has happened to many people using the internet for their *beliefs* 🙂 Tongue in cheek I hope. You gave a guide how to avoid certain issues too

  6. Ok, lots of interesting points there, and thank you for commenting Christian (and Dox), so I will try to address everything you’ve said.

    Firstly, here’s a graph showing DAI, or digital access index. It takes into account internet penetration, as well as cost and speed and availability. Using this index seems to be fairer as it accounts for everything – and we can see Japan is listed as high index, alongside America and Sweden. Japan is, as I said, still leading the way with speed and among the top with all factors such as accessibility also considered.

    I think you’re correct if you include mobile networks in the argument – Japan has only just got 3G and coverage is pathetic still; and you’re quite right in saying Japanese networks don’t cooperate well with foreign phones. However, I’m not really interested in mobile networks as they can’t realistically be used for downloading torrents. My article refers to what I like to call “real internet” 🙂

    As for the legislation issue – I was actually being quite serious. I was shocked myself, but after the article gained popularity on JapanSoc (a social network site for Japan-based blogs), one user pointed out that only UPLOADING was in fact illegal. Japanese ISPs will indeed cut off users internet if they are suspected of downloadingh copyrighted content, but there will be no legal action.

    At least not until next year, then the law will change.

    My guide to safe torrenting still helps users prepare for that day though~ and indeed is still relevant now as most users will download a torrent and it will automatically seed itself, hence they will be breaking the law by uploading.

    Hope that sorts some things out.

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