South Korea Wants 1Gbps Internet By 2012

Not even a week after Britain promised to provide its entire nation with broadband access over the next few years, South Korea has introduced a similar plan in order to keep up with the proverbial Joneses. According to a new plan from the Korea Communications Commission, it's looking to improve the nation's already stellar IT infrastructure. The ambitious initiative is calling for total spending of 34.1 trillion won ($24.6 billion) over the next five years, with the Korean central government putting up 1.3 trillion won and the remainder coming from private telecom operators.

Obviously, a plan such as this is pretty wide ranging, though the highlight change is that "high-speed Internet and wireless broadband services will be upgraded to 1Gbps broadband and 10Mbps, meaning their speeds will increase by 10 times compared to current services." Furthermore, existing communications networks will also be enhanced to Internet protocol-based systems, and an official from KT (South Korea's biggest landline phone operator) noted that "under the plan, we won’t have to give up our landline phone business right away, and the mainstream is Internet telephony service, so we think the plan is positive."

As if you weren't already convinced of the value here, the KCC has also announced the improvement will make HDTV signals up to 16 times clearer, and interactive TV services such as e-commerce and home schooling will become entirely more feasible. As it stands, some 94 percent of Korean households already have access to broadband internet, but obviously, those 94 percent need to connect at an even faster rate.