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September 02, 2004

Nova Expanding TV Lesson Network

Nova has been expanding its fiber-optic network based service to students taking lessons at home. The latest service is the result of a tie up between Nova, Japan's largest eikaiwa school chain, GingaNet, a provider of TV telephone services, Kyushu Electric Power Company (TEPCO), and QTNet, a Kyushu-based communcations network company. The service, which allows students to use a television to take the "Ochanoma Ryugaku" lessons at home or at the office, is due to start at the end of September. There is a ¥25,000 sign-up fee and lessons are paid for using Nova's points system. Rather than use the regular internet, it makes use of local purpose-built fiber-optic networks that provide a more reliable connection. In Kyushu, this is the BBIQ network developed by QTNet. Several major ISPs are already providing the service to users, including DION, So-Net and BIGLOBE.

Nova started a similar service in the Kansai region in February of last year and tied up with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) this summer. From a business point of view, the tie up helps all companies promote their new services or products. In addition to joining Nova, students need to sign up for the power companies' fiber-optic services and lease a "GingaNet Denwa" TV/telephone for about ¥3,000 a month or buy a unit for about ¥90,000.

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