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] About 45 million people or 92.4% of the population are Internet users,[3] this shows how the nation has a substantial relationship with their digital space. It has consistently ranked first worldwide in the UN ICT Development Index since it launched. The government established policies and programs that facilitated the 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 3 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.[4] According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation South Korea's internet is the most developed in the world.[5] Particularly Seoul, the nation's capital, has been called "the bandwidth capital of the world".[6] In January 2006, it became the first country to achieve over 50% broadband penetration per capita.[7] By 2005, it was the first country to complete the conversion from dial-up to broadband.[8] It also has the cheapest, fastest broadband in the world.[2] 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]

As of Q4 2016, South Korea had the fastest average internet connection in the world at 26.1 Mbit/s according to the report State of the Internet published by Akamai Technologies. South Korea's speed is almost four times faster than the world average of 7.0 Mbit/s.[10] 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,[11] which is roughly 142 times as fast as the world average and 79 times as fast as the average speed in the United States.

Wireless broadband[edit]

South Korea has pulled ahead of every other country when it comes to broadband Internet in all categories including Speed and Quality, Adoption, Price, and Literacy and Gender Equality according to Internet Monitor.[12] As many large, powerful countries begin to fall behind, broadband experts look to South Korea for solutions. However, there are multiple reasons why South Korea’s broadband is successful, such as, “Government planning, healthy competitive, urban population density, private-sector growth and Korean culture”,[13] which have made it difficult for other countries to mimic their success.

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]


Many of the online security breaches in South Korea seem to stem from a common use of comparatively outdated browsers and security software.[16]

There is occasional criticism claiming that foreign websites are significantly slower than South-Korean websites, for example websites for video streaming.[citation needed] This is a common problem in any country trying to communicate over foreign waters, since the latency in transcontinental communication is higher due to the physical distance that the signal has to travel.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "South Korea is still number one – has fastest Internet speed worldwide". 31 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Mcdonald, Mark (21 February 2011). "South Korea Seeks Internet Speed of 1 Gigabit a Second" – via 
  3. ^ "Asia Internet Usage Stats Facebook and Population Statistics". Retrieved 2015-08-05. 
  4. ^ Whitney, Lance (14 January 2010). "Akamai: World's Net connection speeds rising". CNET News. Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "South Korea's broadband network most developed". People's Daily Online. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Hertz, J.C. (August 2002). "The Bandwidth Capital of the World". Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Ahonen, Tomi; O'Reilly, Jim (2007). Digital Korea. futuretext. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-9556069-0-8. 
  8. ^ Ahonen, page 174.
  9. ^ Ahonen, page 242.
  10. ^ akamai’s [state of the internet] Q4 2016 report (PDF) (Report). Akamai Technologies. 
  11. ^ "CJ헬로비전-에러페이지". 
  12. ^ "Map - Internet Monitor". 
  13. ^ "IDG Connect – Why Does South Korea Have the Fastest Internet?". 
  14. ^ Pfanner, Eric (2011-09-04). "Naming Names on the Internet". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  15. ^ Choi (최), Yeon-jin (연진) (2011-12-30). 방통위, 인터넷 실명제 폐지 추진. Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  16. ^ "Korea's Broken Internet Paradise - Eat Your Kimchi". 27 March 2014. 

Further reading[edit]