Stay connected: Internet in South Korea

3/9/2022 5:29:12 AM

About 45 million people in South Korea (or 95.1% of the population) use the Internet. The country has the world's fastest average internet connection speed. South Korea has consistently ranked first in the UNICT Development Index since the index's launch. The government established policies and programs that facilitated the rapid expansion and use of broadband. The country has 97.6% of the population owning a smartphone, which is the highest in the world.


National program

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. According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, South Korea's internet is the most developed in the world. Seoul has been called "the bandwidth capital of the world".


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

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. South Korea's speed is four times faster than the world average of 7.0 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 1,024 Mbit/s, at $20 per month, 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

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 according to Internet Monitor. 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”, which have made it difficult for other countries to mimic their success.


Real name policy

There is a government-level proposal to stamp out anonymity in the South Korean internet environment. The Korea Communications Commission is considering this proposal.