Good thing the Koreans went for the fiber early. South Korea dominates the top lists when it comes to broadband, according to latest edition of Akamai’s State of the Internet report for the three months ending December 31, 2012. The quarterly State of the Internet report puts the South Korean city of Daegu at the top of the 100 fastest cities.
Here are some highlights from Akamai’s official press release:
On a year-over-year basis, average connection speeds grew by 25 percent globally and global average peak connection speeds once again demonstrated significant improvement, rising 35 percent. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the global average connection speed rose 5 percent to 2.9 Mbps. Global broadband adoption rates are closer to 42 percent while high broadband (higher than 10 Mbps) adoption rates are at 11 percent.
South Korea had an average connection speed of 14 Mbps while Japan came in second with 10.8 Mbps and the U.S. came in the eighth spot with 7.4 Mbps. South Korea average peak connection speed in at 49.3 Mbps. The United States came in 13th at 31.5 Mbps.
In South Korea, nearly 49 per cent of connections qualify as “high-broadband”. South Korea has 86 per cent broadband penetration.
Why is this important to you? Well, the global economy and marketplace will continue to evolve just as broadband continues to evolve. In the past, the acceleration of internet speeds has transformed countless industries – new products and services have upended our methods for learning, dating, playing, shopping, and much more.
There have been huge growth in the Korean economy developing traditional industries through efficiency and interconnection, and we’ve seen the increase in competition in the tech sector, the acceptance of innovative ideas and methods. The need for speed will spur growth not only within the industry but also with small businesses and our communities down the ‘line’ (haha, if you know what I mean).
Through a series of policy initiatives, the South Korean government has actively promoted fast internet access, including forcing its public power utility and dominant telecom company to open up their networks to rivals.
There are 3 major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Korea –
- LGU+ (previously DACOM)
They provide the broadband and the dedicated Internet circuit including Ethernet and operating Internet data centers in Seoul and other major cities. Many public restaurants offer free Wi-Fi Internet during business hours. Talk about awesome.
The Next Big Thing: Internet of Things.
So, it's probably a good idea to keep up. South Korea is consistently winning the race, clocking in with average connection speeds of 14.7 Mbps during the third quarter in 2012.
Korea has already been ushered into a new era of connected homes and the "Internet of Things," and Korea will probably be the first one to see a world where all our products are connected and talking, in ways that could make our lives easier and use of resources more efficient.
The Internet of Things is, at its most impressive, helping create smart cities. Is there already a city with a joined-up Internet of Things? Yes: New Songdo City, 40 miles south of Seoul in South Korea. Although it is still in its embryonic form, it does have a lot of potential and room for growth. There are endless possibilities.
Be ready for the ‘wave’ fellas. And this time it will be a freakin’ tsunami. Forget virtual classrooms, high-resolution video, ultra HD and 3-D television – they’re already happening.
We could start by explaining all the time saving activities in homes – but the IoT is at its best when predicting human behaviour. The growth of Korean broadband is not just about growing the internet economy, but it’s also about Korea being able to make advanced calculations about the network behaviours, usage, and internet penetration.
Faster broadband access with less restrictive data caps is likely to result in better things for consumers, and although it’s difficult to predict what becomes possible (this is perfectly clear from both the short history of the internet), but what will the next 20 Mbps bring? Or 50? Who knows? Is this a tsunami warning? Maybe…