NEWS: Japanese avoid file-sharing, despite fast internet speeds

Japanese consumers may enjoy some of the fastest home internet speeds around - 10Mbps is the norm, and almost 40% have fibre-optic links straight into the home - but they tend to give peer-to-peer file-sharing sites the swerve.

It's not that they're worried about copyright infringement - less than a quarter say that's the reason - but rather they fear viruses and leakage of personal information.

Recent surveys show that 23% of Japanese homes have ADSL internet speeds of 10Mbps or greater - the service illustrated offers 12Mbps for less than £8 a month - while over 38% have fibre-optic services, although these are usually capped to 10Mbps per home to avoid heavy users grabbing all the bandwidth.

But when it comes to peer-to-peer file-sharing, recently in the headlines with some big crackdowns on sites offering music and movies, only 8.7% of users admit to having used them, and under half that number say they still do.

Almost 80% of those who've never tried file-sharing say they're scared of personal information being grabbed, almost 70% worry about viruses and the better part of 50% can't see why such services are needed. Not surprisingly less than 4% say their internet connection's too slow to allow them to use P2P.

Finally, and just to reinforce the odd national stereotype, Japanese consumers were asked where they use their computer. Almost 30% said they surf sitting on the floor.

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.