South Korea aims to provide gigabit speed to individual homes by 2012

What does a country that already leads the world with an average broadband speed of 12Mbps do for an encore? Simple: They promise 1,000Mbps by 2012. By way of comparison, the UK is trying to guarantee two Mbps service in the near future and according to Akamai, the United States currently averages a snail’s pace of 4.6 Mbps.

According to the BBC, “the [South Korean] government is encouraging enterprise to spend the 34 trillion Won (£19bn)” required to build the infrastructure. That number is roughly equal to the amount that the country spends on education.

While South Korea has long been known as a “connected” country, what will anyone use that type of speed for when most ISPs have pipes much smaller than that? One possibility is that traditional television service will be upgraded and streamed through the internet. Microsoft has been steering video distribution in this direction, as has Netflix, and with a fast Internet backbone this could easily become a reality. When an entire HD movie can be downloaded in less than five minutes, everyone in the home can consume whatever media they want without negatively impacting anyone else. This all assumes that the providers can keep up and provide content to everyone at the speeds that South Korea is promising.

It remains to be seen whether this is something that is actually achievable or whether it’s simply bravado from the government’s leaders, but there’s nobody out there who would turn the service down if it was offered for a reasonable price.

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51 Comments

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crazy, and I thought our 100Mbits here in Australia was going to be good. But I'm starting to doubt if anyone in this country can make up their mind about getting it.

Instead of forking out all this money to rebuild Iraq, that money should have been put into use for better and faster broadband here in the US. I'm all for going in and destroying the country for the better good but we should have come away without paying for anything in the means of rebuilding...let them pay for it with all that damn oil they have!!! It's time we start focusing the funds into certain large projects and until we get the Democrats out of office it won't happen.

And I thought my 9.8MB/s download speed was fast enough... we're gonna get even faster speeds? Heck yea, I am a happy Korean.

kimatg said,
And I thought my 9.8MB/s download speed was fast enough... we're gonna get even faster speeds? Heck yea, I am a happy Korean.

*cries*

kimatg said,
And I thought my 9.8MB/s download speed was fast enough... we're gonna get even faster speeds? Heck yea, I am a happy Korean.

And I am a jealous Brit.

Well im in Japan with 1Gbit for 5,900Yen a month with unlimited data usage and they are already trialing 2Gbit in most area's
Wimax is offered at 50mbit down with 10mbit up and starting 2011 they are switching over to wimax2 380mbit but for some odd reason all I ever read about is south korea's internet...

Not talking politics, in the US the biggest prob is old lines & the regs to replace them. To run new fiber or cable or whatever a company has to deal with every small town, township, & municipality, each with their hands out. And that's when/if they don't already have a **preferred** provider who does not welcome competition. We need to remember that stuff whenever local gov comes up for election if things are ever going to change.

mikiem said,
We need to remember that stuff whenever local gov comes up for election if things are ever going to change.

If only we had a day to elect new officials. I'd call it "Election Day," and would probably pick the first Tuesday of November for the event.

Hey, that's today!

Lucas said,
And Costa Rica, a 3rd world country is promising gigabit connections by 2011. So?

Damn. Well I'm guessing for the travelers majorly.

lol well at least its a lot better than NZ. My ISP. I pay $33.95 a mth (standard fee for the plan + whatever you use), for as fast as you can dl, and 128 ul. Its worse at night, because this ISP has only got so much bandwidth, and having a torrent plan doesnt help things either

I usually pay about 40-45 a mth. But this isnt ADSL2 speed (even tho I'm using a ADSL2 modem).

To get ADSL 2, I'll have to change to another plan, (naked ADSL (only prob, I dont pay for the phone, the flatmate does). Pay $64.95 instead. And if I decide to change ISP to get ADSL2, I'll have to go into a 12 mth contract (like everyone else), whether I use my own modem or not.

Only diff is, the other ISP (depending on the plan) would be cheaper / faster and its a fixed plan.

Only reason why I dont change, I'm not going into a contract with any ISP, and because I dont pay for the phone, I'll probably have to give the other ISP this phone # so they can ring the flatmate. And it'll cost $10 more since tolls isnt with the other ISP. Too much stuffing around

In India, I pay approx. 15 USD per month for a 512 Kbps, Unlimited download connection. This is what I can afford in my 550 USD/month salary. There are other plans too which are for layman users but has a download cap. T1 line for a regular user is a distant dream here.

The state run BSNL offers best and economical Broadband services.

MohammadReza Taesiri said,
In iran 256Kbit/s and above is iliigal (lovely country )

Probably better, than means viruses are downloaded slower

MohammadReza Taesiri said,
In iran 256Kbit/s and above is iliigal (lovely country )

yeah man! Your countryman here.I can download at ~30kb, using a 128 kbps line! Now, I defy Koreans to beat that speed haha!

krokis said,
Sweden already got 1000Mb...

Sure but not as widely spread like in South Korea.
As far as I know, south korea has pretty much implemented in major cities, the plan is now to expand it to other smaller cities/towns.
They have had it for a long time already, I went there 3 years ago, helped with configuration of some QoS Routers

The advantage that sweden, korea, japan and other countries with high capacity bandwidth have is that they have newer infrastructures for phone lines and subteranional fibres.
They could have 1gbit connections even 15 years ago

The UK has had copper based lines since the start and was maintained during wars, nothing has been changed. Virgin is the only fibre supplier and it has taken them over 6 years to get the exchanges setup with fibre optics. One of the reasons why they are now able to provide homes with 100mbit from this December.

It be used to capacity by Starcraft players in 3 months and they will need to then double it.

But as a New Zealander, I not only want good speed, I want STABLE internet connection. I don't know how many times when I'm researching, hit a roadblock because suddenly they decided to die or move at dial up speed.

Well in Northern Ireland I've got the new BT Infinity fibre optic and have speeds of 36Mb/s down 8Mb/s up for £24 a month. So I'm pretty content with that after being on a crappy 6Mb/s line before Some of those american prices sound ridiculous though!

KyleGM said,
Well in Northern Ireland I've got the new BT Infinity fibre optic and have speeds of 36Mb/s down 8Mb/s up for £24 a month. So I'm pretty content with that after being on a crappy 6Mb/s line before Some of those american prices sound ridiculous though!

What's Infinitys pings like?

US/Colorado - I'm only getting ~20Mb/s down 3Mb/s up .. Comcast does offer 100Mb/s service here but I haven't felt a need to upgrade yet. Nothing I do would really take advantage of it. At least not until sites stream real HD content and not the overly compressed/less quality stuff they push now.

New Zealands ADSL2+ speed is out of this WORLD!!! 2mbs 100kb/s is soo flippen awesome.


I needs to go to koreas for internets

Auzeras said,
New Zealands ADSL2+ speed is out of this WORLD!!! 2mbs 100kb/s is soo flippen awesome.
I needs to go to koreas for internets

2 mbit should be about 220~ KB/s. 100 KB/s is more like 768k. Check your ISP.

Recon415 said,

2 mbit should be about 220~ KB/s. 100 KB/s is more like 768k. Check your ISP.

I think he's saying download/upload, being 2mbits and 100kbits.

I don't know why the US/UK keep bitching about 4+ mbps speeds... in India we just got 1 mbps and 2 mbps last year at reasonable prices.

Navan said,
I don't know why the US/UK keep bitching about 4+ mbps speeds... in India we just got 1 mbps and 2 mbps last year at reasonable prices.

You would expect the developed countries to have better internet, simple.

Navan said,
I don't know why the US/UK keep bitching about 4+ mbps speeds... in India we just got 1 mbps and 2 mbps last year at reasonable prices.

Reasonable prices? It is dirt cheap. $10 for 6 hours unlimited at 2 mbps.

surrealvortex said,

Reasonable prices? It is dirt cheap. $10 for 6 hours unlimited at 2 mbps.

Thats cheap? Woah that's expensive as hell.

Minimoose said,

You would expect the developed countries to have better internet, simple.

South Korea *is* a developed nation, and has been for a while.

However, the comparison of Internet speeds has a natural skew - nations with higher population densities are more profitable for private entities to wire than lower densities (greater ROI per mile), hence the great leads (and low prices) of South Korea, Japan, the PRC's Hong Kong Semi-Autonomous Region, and the Scandinavian countries - all have high populations in small areas.

South Korea is further skewed by the wiring being done by the national government - national governments tend not to care about P&L or ROI. What is their agreement with private ISPs? Do the larger ISPs share the backbone, or must they still build their own (keeping them regional)? Is the government itself an ISP (does it sell service directly)? We know none of that.

We don't have all the facts (or even all the data); therefore how can an honest comparison be made?

Article is biased. Says US is a snail's pace at 4.6 Mbps while nothing more than a mention of UK at 2 Mbps??? Anyway, we only get 3 Mbps unless we fork over some dough for a 8 Mbps where I live.

AJC. said,
What about Canada's plans? Do we even have any?

Ya, to continue to jack up prices and lower their service.

Honestly, I don't know, but I don't see Rogers or Bell doing anything about it any time soon.

AJC. said,
What about Canada's plans? Do we even have any?

It's not that bad actually, Rogers is quite fast and bell is iffy. I prefer Rogers over bell for speed, the prices are kind of expensive but it works. never had a problem with the Internet anyway. bell though has a very slow website..annoying when trying To pay the bills.

Manson_AAN said,
and over hear in Australia, they're still arguing whether fibre internet is worth it.

At least my ADSL2+ gives me 14MBits =D, only 1km from the exchange so I'm lucky haha.
I just hope cost of the NBN won't snowball like many government infrastructure plans =/

Manson_AAN said,
and over hear in Australia, they're still arguing whether fibre internet is worth it.

It is worth it! I don't want to see horrible deals that give you 20GB for $80 a month any more ;o;