November 13, 2002 · Lessig
Here’s a company to watch: eAccess, Japan, building the fastest growing aDSL network in the world. They now offer 12 mbs (yes, I mean 12 mps) for $26/m, service within 7 days. And to celebrate their amazing success, on 12/12, they go public.
Talk to the extraordinary president of eAccess, Sachio Semmoto, and he’ll tell you the key to eAccess’s success: That Japan learned from the United States that access to copper had to be “open.” Open access meant new competition; competition has driven prices down, speed up.
It’s an amazing thing, competition. Apparently it doesn’t work in America, though. Now that the Japanese have profited from the American lesson on regulation, the Americans are retreating. The FCC is moving as quickly as it can to undo open access requirements.
Obviously, there are technical differences between Japan and the US that affect performance. All of Japan’s telecom is post 1950; a huge percentage of Japan’s population is within 6 km of a switching box. But forget 12 mbs for $26. I’d be happy with 1 mbs at $26. Living in the city in SF, I can’t even get that.