MIC to reduce digital divide

25 Jun 2008

Japan’s Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, Hiroya Masuda, said yesterday the country hopes to cut the number of people not covered by cellular services from 300,000 currently, to around 100,000 by 2010. Speaking at a press conference Masuda said the ministry had compiled a strategic proposal for narrowing the digital divide in Japan to include this step. Jiji Press writes that the reinforcement of the country’s cellular network coverage could cost as much as JPY240 billion (USD2.2 billion) to realise. Masuda added that studies conclude the government will need between JPY91 billion and JPY218 billion to make broadband services available to all Japanese households by the same date. Household coverage for high speed internet services currently stands at 98.5%.