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A Japanese consortium of four companies has decided to bring broadband network services to the masses via cable TV. Fujitsu, trading house Marubeni, Tokyo Electric Power and security company Secom have thrown in $295.7 million and plan to start delivering services in April, 2001.

The group will make good use of Nifty Corp, the largest ISP in Japan, and owned by Fujitsu, as well as the optical fiber networks owned by Tokyo Electric and Marubeni.

The alliance may be the result of the merger between Japan's Jupiter Telecom, 50 percent owned by AT&T, and Titus Communications, majority owned by Microsoft. That merger created the largest cable TV operator in Japan.

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