Friday, January 18, 2008

Broadband Internet in South Korea

Broadband internet penetration, as measured by the OECD, the ITU and other organizations, indicates the number of internet subscriptions per 100 population. As indicated by the chart in my previous post, South Korea led the world by this measure for the first few years of the new century. It also led, and continues to lead, by another important measure--the percentage of households connected to broadband internet. As of September 2007, 90.1% of South Korean households had broadband connections, the highest percentage in the world. As shown in the chart above, other countries are catching up, led by several of the smaller nations of Scandinavia and Europe. South Korea's high household access to the internet is boosted by the extremely high concentration of its population in Seoul and a few other large cities. Beyond that, even in smaller towns a large portion of the population resides in the large apartment complexes that have, for some years now, all been wired for 100 Mbps internet connections. With such a high level of household connections to fast internet service, it stands to reason that usage levels will increase and that seems to be the case, as shown in the second graphic below. Over half of the South Korean population now uses the internet more than ten hours per week.

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