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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • PSINet Japan to Offer Inexpensive Net Access Service
  • September 9, 1998 (TOKYO) -- PSINet Japan K.K., the Japanese subsidiary of PSINet Inc., a leading U.S. Internet service provider, will offer an enhanced InterFrame-LA (Local Access) service from Oct. 1.
    InterFrame-LA provides inexpensive access to the Internet at a monthly cost of 48,000 yen (US$350) for a continuous 128kbps connection.

    In April, the InterFrame-LA service started on a trial basis in part of Tokyo's Minato ward. The expanded service will cover virtually all of central Tokyo as of October.

    The company's InterFrame-LA uses Open Computer Network (OCN) access lines provided by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT). NTT makes the access line component of OCN available to telecommunications providers as a separate deal from its OCN access service.

    PSINet's flat rate of 48,000 yen a month includes the OCN access line charges. Other providers are charging in excess of 100,000 yen (US$730) for 128kbps services, excluding the access line charges.

    InterFrame-LA is much less expensive than its competitors. It still costs 10,000 yen more than NTT's OCN Economy service, but the router rental is included in the InterFrame-LA rate and customers have the advantage of unlimited IP addresses.

    PSINet uses firewall routers from Proteon Inc. of the United States. The firewall capability is not being utilized, but PSINet plans to offer firewall security as an optional service for an extra charge of around 20,000 yen (US$145) a month.

    The most successful of the services offering full-time connectivity in Japan is NTT's OCN Economy service, which has about 15,000 subscribers. The main competition in pricing is from Type-1 telecommunications carriers (common carriers) such as DDI Corp., Japan Telecom Co., Ltd. and Teleway Corp. These three companies offer connection services via OCN access lines for monthly rates of less than 40,000 yen (US$290).

    Companies like PSINet, which are classified as Type-2 providers (leasing rather than owning capacity), do not usually provide services via OCN access lines. Most of these providers focus on high quality and reliability to attract customers, offering services priced higher than OCN Economy.

    In contrast, PSINet believes that the only way it can compete against the popularity of OCN Economy is by positioning its services in roughly the same price bracket. The company intends to continue offering inexpensive alternatives.

    PSINet Japan is making moves to enhance its services, following an announcement Aug. 26 that its U.S. parent company will take over Rimnet Corp., a midsize provider in Japan. Although still a Type-2 provider, PSINet is projecting itself as a viable telecom carrier in Japan.

    Related story: U.S.-Based PSINet to Acquire Japanese ISP Rimnet

    (Nikkei Communications)

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    Updated: Tue Sep 8 18:57:44 1998 PDT