Internet in South Korea

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South Korea is the world leader in Internet connectivity, having the world's fastest average internet connection speed.[1][2] It has consistently ranked first worldwide in the UN ICT Development Index since it launched. The government established policies and programs that facilitated a rapid expansion and use of broadband.

National program[edit]

South Korea leads in the number of DSL connections per head worldwide. ADSL is standard, but VDSL has started growing quickly. ADSL commonly offers speeds of 2 Mbit/s to 8 Mbit/s, with VDSL accordingly faster. The large proportion of South Korea's population living in apartment blocks helps the spread of DSL, as does a high penetration of consumer electronics in general. Many apartment buildings in built-up metropolitan areas, such as Seoul and Incheon, have speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s. VDSL is commonly found in newer apartments while ADSL is normally found in landed properties where the telephone exchange is far away.

The Internet has a higher status for many Koreans than it does in the West, and the government actively supports this. [3] According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation South Korea's internet is the most developed in the world.[4] Particularly Seoul, the nation's capital, has been called "the bandwidth capital of the world".[5] In January 2006, it became the first country to achieve over 50% broadband penetration per capita.[6] By 2005, it was the first country to complete the conversion from dial-up to broadband.[7] It also has the cheapest, fastest broadband in the world.[8] Now there are experiments with speeds of 1 Gigabit per second. Additionally, in 2005 96.8% of South Korean mobile phones had Internet access.[9]

ISP and IDC[edit]

There are 3 major ISPs. They are KT Corp, SKBroadband, and LGU+ (previously DACOM) and provides the broadband and the dedicated Internet circuit including Ethernet and operating Internet data centers in Seoul. Major MSOs are TBroad, C&M, and CJ Hello vision.

Internet speed[edit]

According to the State of the Internet report from Akamai for Q1 2013, the average Internet speed in South Korea during the quarter was 14.2 Mbit/s, with a peak Internet connection speed of 44.8 Mbit/s.[10]

As of 2013, South Korea has the fastest average internet connection in the world at 21.0 Mbit/s according to the report State of the Internet published by Akamai Technologies,[11] which is over 40% faster than the next fastest country, Japan, whose average internet speed is 12.9 Mbit/s. South Korea's speed is almost six times faster than the world average of 3.8 Mbit/s, and more than twice as fast as the United States at 10 Mbit/s. It is important to note that 100 Mbit/s services are the average standard in urban South Korean homes and the country is rapidly rolling out 1Gbit/s connections or 1,000 Mbit/s, at $20 per month,[12] which is roughly 263 times faster than the world average and 100 times faster than the average speed in the United States.[13]

Wireless broadband[edit]

South Korea offers wireless broadband in major cities. LTE, Wibro and HSDPA are the most common used technologies for South Korea's wireless broadband. Many public restaurants offer free Wi-Fi Internet during business hours.

Real name policy[edit]

There is a government-level proposal to stamp out anonymity in the South Korean internet environment.[14]

The Korea Communications Commission considers to stop the real name policy.[15]


The Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt,[16] made a negative remark on the South Korean internet environment for falling "a little bit behind" due to governmental regulations during a conference with Choi See-Joong, chairman of Korea Communications Commission, and President Park Geun hye.

Many of the online security breaches in South Korea seem to stem from a common use of comparatively outdated browsers and security software. [17]

There is occasional criticism claiming that foreign websites are significantly slower than South-Korean websites, for example websites for video streaming.[18]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]