South Korea sets 1 Gbps residential broadband access goal

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) may have gained a lot of attention last year with its ambitious 1 Gbps Fiber to the Home (FTTH) open access initiative that's still in the evaluation stage outside of a trial set to begin later this year, South Korea is taking action with its 1 Gbps to every home initiative now.

Already boasting the world's fastest broadband speeds, the government has decided to up its country's broadband ante even further by initiating a project that will bring 1 Gbps connections to every home in the country by 2012.

This project is not just a paper concept as the government has already begun a 1,500 home project in five South Korean cities. Perhaps even more compelling is that customers only have to pay about 30,000 won a month, or less than US $27 for the service, far less than what U.S. consumers pay today for cable modem, DSL or available FTTH service with much lower speeds.

Korea continues to the gold standard for broadband speed. Even before the 1 Gbps initiative was announced, President Obama said that "South Korean homes now have greater Internet access than we do," during his State of the Union address. Along with finalizing the broadband stimulus awardees, the Obama administration recently unveiled an $18.7 billion broadband spending program.

When the project is complete, South Korea will not only have a service that's 10 times as fast as what they already have, but it will also be 200 times what's available to U.S. broadband consumers.

Choi Gwang-gi, an engineer who is overseeing project said that the increased speed is all about enabling new applications. "A lot of Koreans are early adopters," Choi said in a New York Times article, "and we thought we needed to be prepared for things like 3-D TV, Internet protocol TV, high-definition multimedia, gaming and videoconferencing, ultra-high-definition TV, cloud computing."

For more:
- the New York Times has this article

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South Korea wants universal 1 gig residential broadband by 2012
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