In the November 26 version of the J@pan Inc newsletter, you cited the Asahi newspapers talking about NTT starting ADSL services here in Japan. This will not happen.
I work for a company called DSP Research Inc. (www.dspr.co.jp). We are a telecommunications compliance testing laboratory. This means we test for approvals from the Japanese government (MPT). Please note the following:
1. The MPT still has not changed the law for wide usage of the ADSL systems. Only on private networks.
2. At this time there are only a few ADSL systems that have been approved, and all of these are for 300-plus users. This means they are for use in office and other buildings only. The MPT has not allowed approvals for personal ADSL modems at this time. They're trying to change the laws for this, but it hasn't happened yet.
3. Most DSL modems on the market are not Annex C approved. ("Annex C" means the modem will work through an ISDN line.) NTT has been pumping all its marketing money into ISDN line sales. It knows that if it can sell enough ISDN lines and make ISDN connections to the Internet cheap enough, it will not have to worry about DSL access, on which it would lose money. Then, most people who already have ISDN lines will hear how much they'd need to pay to change them back to analog -- and how much the new equipment would cost -- and give up on the opportunity.
If NTT's ADSL service does start, it will be only in Tokyo. I live in the Yokohama area, work in Tokyo, and my main office is in Osaka. One good thing about KDDI -- NTT's biggest rival -- is that when it starts DSL services, it will be not just in Tokyo, but in Yokohama as well.
International Sales Support Engineer
DSP Research Inc.