For about 2 years now Tokyo has had 100 megabit internet service for about $50 a month except it was through a smaller company called usen. Now that same service is available through NTT, the AT&T of Japan. NTT’s price is about $50 a month. Usen has responded by lowering their price to about $32 a month
I’m not sure how well these services are doing though. It’s arguable the reason DSL has/is exploding here in Japan is because it’s now cheaper than dialup. An unlimited dialup connection will cost you $17 a month plus about 3 cents a minute since Japan has no local unlimited calling like the states do. A 1.5Mbit DSL connection is about $19 period, no extra connection charges. A 12MBit connection is only $5 more a month which is what I now have though Yahoo Japan although all the various provides are about the same price.
Back in the states most people are still stuck with 0.7Mbits for about $40 to $50 a month. It’s no wonder people stick with their modems. With service so cheap in Japan it likely that it won’t be long until most houses have some form of broadband just like most houses have phones. When that happens all kinds of services and devices will likely start comming out, something the U.S. is likely to miss out on.
Already, wireless networking hubs that will share your DSL connect are down to $100. With those around it won’t be long until we start seeing more and more stuff wired into the net. There are already ready to go net cameras. You could set one up in the nursery and check in on your spouce and kids while at work. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a great reason to be wired. My point is that that kind of stuff doesn’t happen much now because the system is not in place but in countries like Japan and Korea where broadband is becoming as common as phone service and cable tv it won’t be long before all kinds of things we haven’t thought of yet start to find a use for being connected.