Korea and the internet

My friend the internet has taught me a lot about itself when it comes to connectivity in South Korea.


South Korea is the leader in the number of DSL connections per head worldwide.

South Korean broadband is the most advanced, cheapest and fastest internet service in the world. In comparison, the US ranks 26th.

The average downstream speed is several times the worldwide average.

In January 2006, it became the first country to achieve over 50% broadband penetration per capita.

By 2005, it was the first country to complete the conversion from dial-up to broadband.

The Internet has a higher status for many Koreans than it does in the West.

Internet addiction is very real, and people are losing life over it.


I don’t ever use all caps. I also don’t allow this forum to become a place for complaining about Korea. That said, it’s pretty apparent I’ve had the worst year of my life with regards to internet frustrations and connectivity.

At work, the internet goes out several times a day, and remains off for a few minutes at at a time. This is over the top annoying when your teaching curriculum is web based and projected on to a white screen. The kids however, love it, and have grown accustomed to clapping and singing the Congratulations song every time it happens. “Teacher… computer crazy?”, is one of the most commonly asked questions in my classroom.

At my girlfriends apartment, it goes out for 2-3 minutes every other hour or so. Which is just perfect when you are trying to view episodes of Entourage and True Blood online, or communicate via Skype. It’s also a very convenient excuse used when the connection terminates in the middle of a disagreement. (Just kidding baby, if you’re reading)

Maybe it has something to do with population density, and the high rise, cookie cutter residential towers that dominate the skyline. Maybe the networks are hastily assembled like the sand and stone sidewalks that become uneven and produce sunken holes when it rains. Maybe I have bad luck, and carry around a black cloud of internet futility.

Whatever it is, and because of it, until proven wrong, I don’t believe all of this hype about Korean internet superiority.

Learn Korean with KoreanClass101.com


~ by ripcitytoseoul on June 21, 2010.

2 Responses to “Korea and the internet”

  1. The fastest solution to your problem is to call up the company responsible and threaten to discontinue the service. The situation tends to improve magically, according to local reports. Apparently many, if not all, provider companies deliberately lower the connection speed to save bandwidth. Ask a knowledgeable Korean friend to do that for you, is my advice.

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