The value of the market for local fibre optic data services in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow substantially during the next few years, according to recent research.
Services such as fibre-to-the-home are already being used to deliver ultra-high speed home internet connections in Japan and other nations in the region.
Research by In-Stat predicts that the market's value will more than double in five years from $4.4bn last year to $10.3bn by the end of 2009.
An aggressive campaign by the Japanese government and telecoms providers resulted in the world's first widespread rollout of fibre-to-the-home, starting in 2001. This type of connection means that each home or business has its own fibre optic data connection.
In Japan, these commonly provide home internet access speeds of up to 100Mbps, 50 times greater than typical ADSL or cable internet connections. Costs are around $40 per month.
According to Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the number of fibre-to-the-home connections in Japan doubled between mid-2004 and mid-2005 to reach four million, almost 20 per cent of the country's total number of broadband connections.
The total number of Japanese fibre optic customers is growing at a rate of more than 200,000 per month, and will surge to 5.35 million at the end of March, predicts the Tokyo-based MM Research Institute.
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