The government of Japan is reportedly revisiting plans to hive off NTT’s access network to allow other service operators to compete more fairly in the local market. The Nikkei Business Daily reports that NTT currently holds a dominant 70% market share in the fibre-optic services segment. However, it points out that less than one-third of Japanese households are currently on the fibre access network even though such services could theoretically be used by over 90% of the population. As a consequence, a task force has been set up by the internal affairs ministry, tasked with drafting new proposals, such as plans possibly to amalgamate NTT’s network operations into one division, spin off the telco’s networks to form a new NTT group, or the creation of a completely separate firm without any financial or operational ties to NTT. The Japanese government owns more than one-third of NTT’s shares, and the telco naturally enough is opposing the government’s plan. It is not the first time NTT has faced calls for structural separation, although the last time it happened, the plan was swiftly kicked into the long grass.
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