Broadband internet connections in Japan are so fast and ubiquitous, it seems almost redundant to use the ‘B word’ to describe them – after all, broad is a relative term. More important concerns are what can be done with all those fat pipes.

Take the latest fibre-based internet service from NTT Plala, a division of the country’s major telecoms provider. Hikari TV (Hikari means ‘light’, as in the light that carries the digital signal down a fibre-optic cable) kicks off next month as an alternative to over-the-air broadcasts.

Pennies per month

The streaming high-definition shows come in multi-channel and movie VoD packages that start at ¥2,625 (£12.75) per month on top of the basic ISP charge.

Considering that a 100Mbps cable into the home costs a similar monthly fee, the Japanese are looking at something of a bargain when compared with typical UK charges. We’ll spare you any more painful details.