Japan: One – Or Many – Steps Ahead

This past week in Dr. Wiesinger’s class we’ve been discussing the internet and its role in countries around the world. It has opened my eyes to the fact that America isn’t as high and mighty as we make it out to be. Although this country is quite advanced and remains to be one of the leading world powers, it really is interesting to see how other countries have gone to astonishing lengths with their technological development.

In Japan, where the government puts a strong emphasis on technological innovation, a new rewiring of the country took place after the destruction caused by WWI. The new broadband infrastructure was designed with copper fibers that have been developed over time to create speed on the internet up to 17 times faster than the leading speed in the United States. Not only speed, but in 2007 Japanese Communications Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the start of research and development towards a “new” internet.

Meanwhile in the United States, the official White House website explains President Obama’s plan regarding the expansion of technology during the term of his presidency. “President Obama has committed to making high-speed wireless services available to at least 98 percent of Americans. The availability of new wireless broadband services will allow more Americans to use the Internet to learn, work and play—regardless of where they live.”

Comparing the two countries, I find it really interesting how far ahead Japan is on the technological level. In the United States we normally are the ones who pride ourselves on being the first this and that, or the leading innovators. While we’re still trying to get our country fully connected to the internet, Japan is in the process of creating a new form of internet that will trump anything that has existed previously. Learning about how another country utilizes the internet has really put technology as a whole into perspective when it comes to global access and innovation.

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