Q12The NTT Group was in a strong position when it came to fiber-optic cable, wasn't it?

A12 That's right. NTT East and NTT West were at a great advantage in terms of fiber-optic cable. Moreover, power companies nationwide were already using fiber-optic networks for the automated reading of electricity meters.

At the start of the fiber-opticbroadband era, companies with existing infrastructure such as NTT Group companies and the power companies had a natural advantage.

The key to selling fiber-optic broadband services was the so-called triple play of offering: 1) high speed Internet access; 2) IP telephones; and 3) movies, television and other services in one package. Such fiber-optic cable services as ADSL spread because campaigns offered free installation and fixed free-service periods to those who signed up. According to the Ministry of Internal fairs and Communications, at the end of March 2007 there were 8.8 million FTTH subscribers, accounting for more than 33% of the country's broadband subscribers.

As of September 2006, NTT East had 36.4% and NTT West 29.6% of the FTTH market, giving NTT a combined market share of 66.0%. Companies in the power-generation industry had a collective share of 15.0%. In October 2006, the telephone company KDDI Corp., which was handicapped in terms of its household fiber-optic network, merged with Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s fiber-optic business. 30