Internet in South Korea

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South Korea has emerged to become the world leader in Internet connectivity and speed.[citation needed] 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. [1] According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation South Korea's internet is the most developed in the world.[2] Particularly Seoul, the nation's capital, has been called "the bandwidth capital of the world".[3] In January 2006, it became the first country to achieve over 50% broadband penetration per capita.[4] By 2005, it was the first country to complete the conversion from dial-up to broadband.[5] It also has the cheapest, fastest broadband in the world.[citation needed] Now there are experiments with speeds of 1 Gigabit per second. Additionally, in 2005 96.8% of South Korean mobile phones had Internet access.[6]

ISP and IDC[edit]

There are 3 major ISPs. They are KT, 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.[7]

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.[8]

The Korea Communications Commission considers to stop the real name policy.[9]


The ex-CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, 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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitney, Lance (14 January 2010). "Akamai: World's Net connection speeds rising". CNET News. Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  2. ^ "South Korea's broadband network most developed". People's Daily Online. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Hertz, J.C. (August 2002). "The Bandwidth Capital of the World". Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  4. ^ Ahonen, Tomi; O'Reilly, Jim (2007). Digital Korea. futuretext. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-9556069-0-8. 
  5. ^ Ahonen, page 174.
  6. ^ Ahonen, page 242.
  7. ^ "The State of the Internet: 1st Quarter, 2013 Report".
  8. ^ Pfanner, Eric (2011-09-04). "Naming Names on the Internet". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  9. ^ Choi (최), Yeon-jin (연진) (2011-12-30). "방통위, 인터넷 실명제 폐지 추진". Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-12-31. 

Further reading[edit]