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South Korea Aiming For Nation-wide Gigabit Internet By 2012

by Sean P. Aune | October 17, 2010October 17, 2010 2:00 pm PDT

As if South Korea isn’t already lucky enough to have the highest average home Internet speeds in the world with a minimum of 12Mbps being the standard, now the government is in talks with companies to aim for 1,000Mbps by 2012. Yes, folks, South Korea wants to be the first country in the world to make a Gigabit its average Internet speed.

internet speedGoogle has been working for some time now on rolling out a test of a Gigabit Internet connection here int he United States, but that will only cover 50,000 people at first.  And, as it was just said, this will be a test, it will not be ramping up to full-scale production anytime in the near future.

And now here we are talking about an entire nation, albeit a geographically small one, that is wanting to make sure that within the next three years every resident will have access to a screamingly fast 1,000Mbps.  Imagine downloading a movie in 12 seconds, that is exactly what the South Koreans could be enjoying.

According to the BBC, it will take approximately 34 trillion Won ($30bn USD) to complete the project, and the government is encouraging enterprise firms to get on it due to the benefits it will bring to every one in the nation.   This budget is about equal to the nation’s annual education budget, so while it may look big to your average person, in government terms its not outrageous.

Of course, we are talking about a country that is just under 36,000 sq. miles in size, which means it is only slightly bigger than South Carolina.  For larger nations to roll out a project of this size, you would be of course talking much larger budget, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least be trying.

The world is quickly leaving us behind when it comes to the Internet, and if more companies don’t start investing now we could see the nation as a whole losing out on business opportunities.  If you’re a company who needs fast Internet connections to get your work done, where are you going to go?  A country that ranks around 19th in average speeds (the U.S.), or a country that is spending whatever it takes to stay number one?

What say you?  Jealous of South Korea yet?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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