The Japanese Telecommunications Ministry has published the June 2006 quarterly statistics on broadband Internet connections. These most recent figures show the number of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connections continuing to soar. They now account for 26% of the market. As of the end of June, more than 6 million households (6.3 million) were subscribing to FTTH. In contrast, ADSL, previously the star of broadband connections, saw its first drop in subscribers in the second quarter of 2006. This decline occurred in major cities, where copper wire is now competing directly with fiber optics.

According to the Japanese Telecommunications Ministry, the number of FTTH connections continues to rise sharply in major metropolitan areas. Fiber optics has increased its market share for seven consecutive quarters (since July 2004), becoming the real driving force behind Japan’s broadband market. Nonetheless, the traditional broadband connections, ADSL and cable, continue to gain ground in rural areas.

Japan’s broadband market statistics: 6.3 million FTTH subscribers (+847,900 in Q2 of 2006); 14.49 million ADSL subscribers (-26,865); 3.4 million for cable (+100,308). A total of 24.2 million Japanese households now have a broadband connection after 915,907 new subscribers signed on during the second quarter of 2006.