Softbank considers USD6.2bn plan to build countrywide fibre network

1 Nov 2010

Associated Press reports claim that Japanese telco Softbank Corp has floated a plan to build a fibre-optic network spanning the country to replace existing copper-wire telephone lines as part of a JPY500 billion (USD6.2 billion) joint venture with rival telcos Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) and KDDI Corp. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son is quoted as saying that he has submitted proposals to the government to build a new broadband super highway in Japan. Son’s scheme would entail replacing more than 40 million conventional POTS-based lines with fibre over a period – of probably five years, the CEO said. The Softbank man added that an alternative to fibre is wireless broadband technology, but he noted that ‘technical hurdles’ make the terrestrial-based route technically more viable and economically cheaper. Softbank Corp is something of a latecomer to the telecoms business but Son is looking to change this to put his firm on an equal footing with NTT.