Why is this page text-only?


Geoff Daily

App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

« If Wall St. Doesn't Want Carriers To Go Rural, Why Should We? | Main | Dear NYT: Rural America's Ready to be Wired Now! »

February 2, 2009 2:53 PM

South Korea Throws Down Bandwidth Gauntlet: Universal 1Gbps by 2012

Wow: Koreans to Have 1Gbps by 2012

And this isn't just a vague promise. They've got a specific plan to generate roughly $25 billion in total investment by investing $1 billion in government dollars. I don't yet know how they're incentivizing that investment, but I'm going to try and find out.

But let's compare this to the most ambitious of American plans: 100Mbps by 2015.

So it's going to take us three more years to get one-tenth the bandwidth, and they've already got a specific plan for how to get there while we have none.

The most important thing to take away from this, though, is the understanding that whatever broadband infrastructure we put in place has to be future-proof in its ability to operate reliably and expand easily and indefinitely in its capacity so we can ultimately be ready for a gigabit world of not just Mbps but Gbps.

Also, note what's possible when a federal government sets clear goals and pursues purposeful policies in terms of pushing the ball forward. Of course there are vast differences in the geography and marketplace in South Korea and the US. But the underlying truth still stands that they're leaving us in their dust because they have more vision, energy, and unity than we do.

Plus we need to understand that since we are much bigger than a South Korea or Japan that even if we had a big plan in place it's going to take two or three times as long to wire our whole country. And we don't even have agreed upon goals let alone a plan on how to accomplish them!

And remember: the full benefits of better broadband aren't realized until a few years after the networks are built. So by the time we get ourselves wired, South Korea's going to have already had at least 5 years and possibly much longer to integrate connectivity more fully into the fabric of their society.

What this all points to is that by committing itself to a 1Gbps Nation, South Korea has thrown down the bandwidth gauntlet and shown us that we can't afford to waste any more time, that even our most aggressive goals don't aspire high enough, and that the time to get next-generation broadband deployed is now, by whatever means necessary.

Del.icio.us Digg Yahoo! My Web Seed Newsvine reddit Technorati


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comments (3)


Are there any serious plans to set the goal in America to reach 100 Mbps by 2015?

I thought you´re (the Feds) plans in the USA was to deliever 5 Mbps? Can not find any reference in the economic recovery plan stressing 100 Mbps. Maybe I simply missed it.

Posted by PTS on February 4, 2009 3:44 AM

Geoff, I agree with almost everything you write, and I really appreciate your enthusiasm for a succinct clear plan of action by the United States government to get this country wired.

The only counter point I have to offer to this article is something you have already mentioned: the "vast differences in the geography and marketplace in South Korea and the US." I think you understate the influence these practical obstacles pose to developing a clear and succinct plan for getting this country wired.

Take a look at the population densities of the respective countries you are talking about (which in my opinion is the single most important factor regarding the economic viability of deploying broadband):
S. Korea: 498 people per sq. km. (20th most pop. dense country in the world)
Japan: 339 people per sq. km. (31st most pop. dense country in the world)
United States: 31 people per sq. km. (177th most pop. dense country in the world)

The physical architecture and population distribution of our country and citizens seriously mitigates the enthusiasm reasonably expected around broadband infrastructure development. No wonder it only took $1 billion in S Korean government dollars to inspire $25 billion in private investment. Heck, that's easy money! If there projected returns in American broadband development for American private investors, like there are projected for Korean private investors... we wouldn't be talking about a broadband stimulus clause... it would have already been built.

Posted by Daniel Stern on February 4, 2009 10:44 AM

There is oen solution that I don't hear being discussed:

Lay down a fiber cable to the center of a population diffuse area, and let white space routers carry the signal to each home.

Now, I am uncertain about the bandwidth potential of white space. However, it is uncertain whether or not rural people even want broadband to begin with. Have you read this Pew study: http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/273/report_display.asp

Posted by Daniel Stern on February 4, 2009 10:54 AM

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)