• Kyodo

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International telecommunications operators in eight Asian economies, including Japan’s KDD Corp., connected their Internet networks Thursday to make Web services more affordable in the region, industry officials said.

With the newly created Asia Internet Network, the telecom operators no longer need to pay fees to U.S. Internet service providers for international Web services, the officials said.

A delay in the establishment of an infrastructure for the Internet has forced Asian service providers to process services beyond national boundaries through the United States.

According to an estimate by the Singapore government, fees paid to U.S. providers by Asian providers total $5 billion a year.

Without such fees, Internet services will become more affordable in Asia, the officials said.

The AIN connects the Internet networks of KDD and international telecom operators in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

Subway optical fiber

Teito Rapid Transit Authority, operator of major subway networks covering the heart of Tokyo, announced Thursday the installation of an optical fiber network along the 171.5 km length of its eight subway lines by the end of March 2001.

The subway operator said it plans to spend 1.5 billion yen to install the high speed lines, which it will lease mainly to telecom companies.

The optical network will cover a number of the nation’s major business districts, including Otemachi, Shinjuku, Ginza and Akasaka.

The subway corporation will in July begin leasing optical fibers extending over a 0.6 km section between Mitsukoshimae and Nihonbashi stations on the Ginza Line, and a 13.8 km stretch between Ochiai and Toyocho stations on the Tozai Line, Teito said.

The subway operator is also considering using the networks to sell a variety of multimedia data within the subway stations, such as music data, digital books and moving images for advertisements.