Internet in South Korea

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About 45 million people in South Korea (or 95.1% of the population) use the Internet.[1] The country has the world's fastest average internet connection speed.[2][3] South Korea has consistently ranked first in the UN ICT Development Index since the index's launch. The government established policies and programs that facilitated the rapid expansion and use of broadband.

National program[edit]

South Korea has the most DSL connections per capita 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 have speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s such as the capital Seoul and Incheon. 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] Seoul has been called "the bandwidth capital of the world".[6]

ISP and IDC[edit]

There are three major ISPs: KT Corporation, SK Broadband, and LG Uplus (previously DACOM). They provide broadband and 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 2017, South Korea had the fastest average internet connection in the world at 28.6 Mbit/s, according to the report State of the Internet published by Akamai Technologies.[7] South Korea's speed is four times faster than the world average of 7.0 Mbit/s.[8] 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 1,024 Mbit/s, at $20 per month,[9] which is roughly 142 times as fast as the world average and 79 times as fast as the average speed in the United States.[10]

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.[11] 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 competition, urban population density, private-sector growth, and Korean culture”,[12] 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.[13] The Korea Communications Commission is considering this proposal.[14]


Cyberculture or internet culture is the cultural processes, products, or story of the culture in cyberspace. Cyberculture is referred to as technoculture, internet culture, post-human culture, and high tech culture. This confusing terminology demonstrates the diversity of cyberculture. In reality, cyberculture is designated as a virtual community culture, acting as an identity of online communication, and cyberpunk. Cyberculture in South Korea is more like a virtual community culture than anything else.

Cyberculture is prolific in South Korea, both in streams and in internet communities. South Korea's cyberculture is quite aggressive because of anonymity and trolls. To prevent this from getting worse, the South Korean government decided to regulate streaming platforms, especially Afreeca TV, which has become a controversy as to whether it corrupts cyberculture or not.[15][16]

Cyberculture development in South Korea[edit]

Streaming Platforms[edit]

Many cyberculture are produced on internet streams. There are many contents such as Mukbang, gaming, and visible radio in streaming platforms. stream Jockey(BJ) try to make their own streams' atmosphere and sometimes it would be a new cyberculture. Basically, communication between the streamer and real-time viewer is one of the important things in a stream. In this process, culture can be created and this immediately surfaces and quickly transmitted in Internet communities.

Internet Communities[edit]

Internet communities can be referred as the nests of cyberculture in South Korea. Hit-cyberculture on internet communities often permeate even offline. A field of language is the most remarkable field. Internet communities lead this language trend in South Korea.[17] Even though there are countless internet communities, there are some communities to see thoroughly. Each internet community has different interests and different people gather at different community sites. So, their atmosphere and the cyberculture that they produce and consume are different from each other.

  1. DC inside - DC inside has an internet community has many forums(a.k.a gallery) for different interests. This community was organized as community of interest for cameras and sharing photographs for amateur photographers at first, but its purpose was changed to Internet community. There are forums about almost everything. People who have same interest can discuss it on DC inside. In this process, many cybercultures are produced and consumed.
  2. Todayhumor - Todayhumor is a popular Korean internet forum. Originally dedicated just to humor, it has since grown to encapsulate various different topics and interests. It is widely used, ranking as the most popular Korean internet community in 2014.[18] Its users tend to be left-leaning politically, which generates some controversy for the website during election seasons.
  3. Diesel Mania - Diesel Mania is an online community catering to those interested in substitution for purchasing Diesel Jean and True religion. The biggest male-fashion community in South Korea. This community has real-name policy. Because of it, this community's issues are less rather than other communities.

These differences between communities makes cyberculture in South Korea diverse.

NAMU Wiki[edit]


The Angel Halo wiki, the predecessor of the NAMU Wiki, was founded on March 1, 2007. It specialized in animation, comics, and Internet neologism. It was popular because of its unique narrative method of mixing jokes such as puns, and various people continued to write for it making it bigger. It changed its name to the Liga Vedic wiki in 2012.[19] However, it became one of the alternative wikis forking this wiki when it became impossible to operate due to the debacle of the League Vedic wiki operator privatizing wikis, and it was made up as a separate site that backed up about 90% of the League Vedic wiki documents.[20] After the privatization of the League Vedai Wiki, most of the League Vedic Wiki users have become NAMU Wiki and Libre Wiki users.[21] As of March 13, 2017, NAMU Wiki outperformed the Korean Wikipedia in that NAMU Wiki ranked 11th on the list of popular websites in Korea while Korean Wiki ranked 33rd, and Google Search, which reflects user preferences.[22] As causative factors of the wiki’s popular, the B-list language used in the NAMU wiki was filled with jokes, such as puns, and people responded to the preference of the users who liked the flimsy stories rather than the hard explanations. Also, it is analyzed that the size of the Korean version of Wikipedia is smaller than other language versions and the lack of content makes the NAMU wiki more popular.[19]

Meaning in Cyberculture in South Korea[edit]

The NAMU wiki, which is popular with people because of these stimulating factors is actively participating in internet culture and events recorded on the NAMU wiki. All the materials in various fields are constantly generated in the wiki.[23] As the characteristic of the wiki, it could be considered as Korea cyberculture storage. A lot of participants can be added and modified in one event, resulting in collective intelligence. As a result of constant user participation and the uploading of contents in various fields, the cyber history of Korea can be seen.[24][circular reference] For example, Internet culture created and consumed by streams and communities is eventually stored on a NAMU wiki. Although due to the large number of participants, NAMU Wiki may have unverified or biased content. This may lead to arbitrary authoring, creation of untrusted sources, and so on. This is an inevitable problem that arises from the fact that the motto of NAMU Wiki is that everyone can contribute.[25] But, this may also be resolved by a large number of steady participation. Articles that are biased or arbitrarily written are reviewed by others several times, hundreds of times, and the articles may be modified by anyone. This will fill the NAMU wiki with unambiguous descriptions and trusted sources that can be selected by anyone.[24]

Example of Cyberculture in South Korea[edit]

A gale of bitcoin[edit]

As bitcoin trading and virtual money trading are gaining popularity in South Korea, buzzwords related with these trading are getting popular on SNS and other communities.[26][27]

  • GAZUA (가즈아) - is kind of a magic word. People say it when they want express their hope that bitcoin's price goes up to their expectation. literally it means 'Go'. People started using this word in real world.
  • Jonber (존버) - word represent 'Do not sell the coin till price goes high'
  • Yeongcha Yeongcha (영차영차) - The sound that many people put together to strengthen their energy. People use this word as a hope to increase price of virtual cash.


Many of the online security breaches in South Korea seem to stem from a common use of comparatively outdated browsers and security software.[28]

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. ^ "Asia Internet Usage Stats Facebook and Population Statistics". Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  2. ^ "South Korea is still number one – has fastest Internet speed worldwide". 31 January 2012.
  3. ^ Mcdonald, Mark (21 February 2011). "South Korea Seeks Internet Speed of 1 Gigabit a Second" – via
  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. ^
  8. ^ akamai’s [state of the internet] Q4 2016 report (PDF) (Report). Akamai Technologies.
  9. ^ "CJ헬로비전-에러페이지".
  10. ^ Vankwani, Ramesh Kumar. "Korean Peace". The News.
  11. ^ "Map - Internet Monitor". Archived from the original on 2015-02-06.
  12. ^ Braun, Andrew (2014-10-20). "IDG Connect – Why Does South Korea Have the Fastest Internet?". IDG Connect. Retrieved 2019-12-02.
  13. ^ Pfanner, Eric (2011-09-04). "Naming Names on the Internet". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  14. ^ Choi (최), Yeon-jin (연진) (2011-12-30). 방통위, 인터넷 실명제 폐지 추진. Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2012-12-31.
  15. ^ "방통위 규제강화에 날개꺾인 아프리카TV". Ajunews.
  16. ^ "바람직한 온라인 문화가 형성되려면 어떻게 해야 할까요". Naver Blog.
  17. ^ "인터넷 커뮤니티의 명암… 유행의 선도자·여론 주도자이지만 자극적 글 재생산 공장 노릇도".[dead link]
  18. ^ "직장인들이 활발하게 활동하고있는 커뮤니티 순위". tstroy.
  19. ^ a b "History of namu wiki". Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  20. ^ "김작가. 《보그 한국판 2015년 8월호》. 202-203쪽. "그리고 이 모든 일을 시간 단위로 작성한 나무위키는 빠르게 리그베다 위키의 대체재로 자리 잡았다. 그리고 어떤 사건으로 인해 문서 작성을 열혈적으로 하는 이용자들에게는 '사관'이란 별명이 붙었다. 몰락한 위키를 떠나 새롭게 탄생한 위키가 이 전쟁을 통해 예상을 뛰어넘는 속도로 뿌리내렸다". Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2015.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  21. ^ "이대웅 기자 (2016년 4월 22일). "나무위키에서의 개인 명예훼손, 이대로 좋은가". 《크리스천투데이》. 2016년 4월 26일에 원본 문서에서 보존된 문서. 2016년 4월 26일에 확인함". Archived from the original on 8 February 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  22. ^ "와우스타 웹컬처팀 기자 (2016년 1월 27일). "[2016 웹컬처 키워드] 국내 집단지성 위키, '대위키시대' 도래". 《한국경제TV》. 2016년 2월 8일에 원본 문서에서 보존된 문서. 2016년 2월 8일에 확인함". Archived from the original on 8 February 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  23. ^ "NAMU wiki and KO Wiki in Ora Rank which researced by Google". Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  24. ^ a b "Collective Interlligence on KO wiki". Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  25. ^ "Users definition of namu wiki on namu wiki site". Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  26. ^ ""가즈아" "구조대 언제"…비트코인 열풍에 유행어도 광풍". Yonhapnews.
  27. ^ "비트코인 신조어 몰라도 일단 `가즈아~`". MBN News.
  28. ^ "Korea's Broken Internet Paradise - Eat Your Kimchi". 27 March 2014.

Further reading[edit]