1 Gbps? South Koreans’ Internet Speeds Leave America in the Dust

Posted on by Mike Dano (Mikedano)
URL for sharing: http://thisorth.at/1xzu
2927362
How long did it take you to get to this ToT web page? Perhaps half a second? Perhaps as long as a second, if you're on DSL? (Stupid Qwest.) Perhaps even longer, if you're the Unabomber and live in a shanty in the mountains and still use a dial-up Internet connection. But still, I think we can all agree that that brief, momentary pause between your mouse click and when this page actually loaded was unacceptably, inexcusably long. Am I right?

The government of South Korea agrees. That's why, by the end of next year, South Korea has pledged to deliver 1 Gbps Internet speeds to every single household in the country. According to an in-depth write-up about this news in the New York Times, that would be about 200 times faster than the Internet speed enjoyed by most Americans.

Let's pause and think about that for a second. 1 Gbps stands for 1 GIGABYTE GIGABIT PER SECOND (fixed). In comparison, Americans typically access the Internet at around 2 Mbps. In fact, here's a handy dandy chart from our pals over at Netflix that shows just exactly the kind of speeds we can expect from our plodding U.S. Internet providers.



As you can see, 1 Gbps isn't anywhere on this chart.

To put this discrepancy into perspective, it would be like Americans driving around at 70 miles per hour and South Koreans driving around at 100,000 mph. That's how much faster they're going to be accessing the Internet than us by next year. (Warning: I am not good at math.)

As an American, frankly I'm appalled. I mean, didn't we already beat the South Koreans during the Korean War in, like, 1890 or something? And didn't we win like four times as many medals as them in the recent Olympics in... where was it this time? Atlanta? Whatever.

The point is that America simply can't stand by and let South Koreans access pornography faster than we can. It's simply not right. It's OK if South Korea's national healthcare system is leaps and bounds beyond our own. It's OK if their children constantly outscore our own in every math and science test known to man. But it is simply deplorable that they can access UltraDonkey faster than we can.

Am I right? Come on, people! I think it's time to bring the super fast Internet back home where it belongs: here in the good old U.S. of A. Let the South Koreans have their kimchi and their Samsung and their Taekwondo, but give us the sub-millisecond access to YouPorn that we deserve.

Now, how can we speed up our domestic Internet connections? Anyone? Maybe I'll search Google for the answer--except that would probably take too long. Maybe I should go get some ice cream instead. Yup, that's it.

How fast do you need the Internet to go?

27362 views & 40 votes

Debate It! 29

Wow, you mean a country with just over 1% the total land area as the United States can more easily install new infrastructure?

Man, we Americans are so behind the times!

Posted By Brash Equilibrium,

Hehe, indeed! It's true south Korea is much smaller than the USA, at least according to my world map. However, do you know of any location in the USA with these kinds of speeds? NYC? Silicon valley? Bueller?

Posted By Mikedano,

I bet if you took any single municipal or state government in the U.S., looked at their budget deficit, and compared it to that of the South Korean government, you'd see the former overshadowed the latter.

It probably explains (along with my total area argument) why we're more reluctant to undertake a national effort yet, as well. Our deficit to GDP ratio is four times the magnitude of South Korea.

Posted By Brash Equilibrium,

Over four times, actually.

Posted By Brash Equilibrium,

You American's are all good. Here in New Zealand the internet gets up to 400KPS on a good day.

Posted By LivingPear,

I ment kbs

Posted By LivingPear,

Small correction, Gbps stands for Gigabits per second (1/8 of a gigabyte). Maybe they really are getting 1 GBPS internet speeds and the author just used the wrong abbreviation, but generally internet speed is measured in bits.

Posted By XZ3R0,

1Gbps is available in Sweden aswell. And has been for years. 1Gbps for 95$ a month. 100Mbps for 8$ a month. Full duplex nautrally.

Posted By hottuna,

Hm, good point. I meant whichever one is correct. I did not mean the incorrect one.

Posted By Mikedano,

1Gbps is not 1 Gigabyte per second - it is 1 Gigabit per second. To convert to bytes per second you divide by 8. So - 1Gbps is 128 megabytes per second - still very fast - but nowhere near 1 gigabyte per second.

Posted By joeo,

Having lived in South Korea for many years, I can attest to the ridiculously fast speeds they already have. My parents, who are there right now and are bringing back two adopted children, have tried to explain to my new siblings (who are teenagers) the differences between Korea and the USA. One of the things they just can't get is why the internet is so much slower over here.

I'm no IT person, but if what my boyfriend says is true, it's more about monopolies of cable companies and old wiring than anything else that keeps our internet slower than other countries. I think it would be a big undertaking trying to redo miles and miles of old wiring, and expensive. But maybe, after a lot of time and patience, we'll get there.

Posted By LadySyhoitta,

Having lived in South Korea for many years, I can attest to the ridiculously fast speeds they already have. My parents, who are there right now and are bringing back two adopted children, have tried to explain to my new siblings (who are teenagers) the differences between Korea and the USA. One of the things they just can't get is why the internet is so much slower over here.

I'm no IT person, but if what my boyfriend says is true, it's more about monopolies of cable companies and old wiring than anything else that keeps our internet slower than other countries. I think it would be a big undertaking trying to redo miles and miles of old wiring, and expensive. But maybe, after a lot of time and patience, we'll get there.

Posted By LadySyhoitta,

I live in Chattanooga, TN and we have 1Gbps internet here. We've had it since last year.

Posted By robdob,

I live in NZ. We have DSL to something like 90% of all urban and rural lines now. With average speeds to the DSLAM in urban areas now 10mbit +. Its auctually qute fast - nationally.
International traffic is different.

Nationally you can get 5mbits to almost everywhere, but internationally (which 70% of our internet traffic is) it needs to go through the southern cross cable network. Its an undersea fibre optic cable running from Auckland to australia and then on to the USA.

The cable is half owned by Telecom - our national telco incumbant. And Hence the cost of international data for the ISP's is expensive. Thats why we have average data caps of 20gb and slow international speeds.

Posted By raytaylor,

Does anyone else find this article racist and incorrect? Aside from the small-minded comments about Koreans and kimchi, how do you get basic US history wrong? If you're attempting to exaggerate for the sake of humor, at least get our allies right. The US fought WITH South Korea against the communist North.

Posted By calisurfandturf,

I think this article was to be informational and entertaining calisurfandturf, I don't see the racism involved here.
Edited:04-04-2011 11:49AM by Rebecca
Reason:GTFO, link

Posted By nick3593,

even here in saudi arabia we have 100 mbps fiber connection for 130 US dollars, when 4 years we didnt even have dsl

Posted By nasa2009,

Hi there. Thanks for your comments. I did not intend this item to be racist. It is supposed to be satirical and humorous. I do know about the Korean War, and the errors are intentional. If you are a regular reader of this site you'll get it.

Posted By Mikedano,

Um, I would not go as far as saying this is racist, but the factual inaccuracies, with intended humor aside, make this artilce rather blah. 1 GBPS vs 1 Gbps. BIG difference. Considering the entire point of the article was to(I assume) demontrate the internet superiority of the Koreans to the good ol' US of A, totally botching the scale of measurement to said superiority is, well, a big oops. Anyways, the artilce was funny. But not the funny you were looking for...

Posted By thisguy,

I find the above comment not funny in the way I was looking for.

Posted By Mikedano,

Give Mikedano a break, folks. The man has an adorable toddler, and the post is funny despite it's minor (and one intentional) factual accuracies.

I maintain my stance, however, that the U.S. has a lot going against a broad plan to scale up our Internet infrastructure, as I and others have pointed out.

Posted By Brash Equilibrium,

I meant inaccuracies, btw.

Posted By Brash Equilibrium,

I looked up the gbps thing and it's actually "gigaboobs per second," which is the number of porn sites you can visit per second. Gigaboner and gigabush are also acceptable.

Posted By Mikedano,

See, that's the kind of in-depth analysis you can only get at the Encyclopedia Drammatica. Or This or That.

Posted By Brash Equilibrium,

I fixed the bit/byte problem in the post.

Posted By Rebecca,

They may have quick internet WITHIN S. Korea, but they have a terrible connection with the rest of the world. Ask anyone that plays any sort of video game cross region :(. For some reason, the West and East aren't connected as well as they should be.

Posted By Aeneous,

because Korea is awesome.

Posted By ispreadsunshine,

Lol, i have 2mbps on good days

Posted By FudgeEyeNaaah,

I'm sorry for your feelings but Korea is much smaller and much denser so it is much easier to install high speed internet infrastructure with profitability. I'm a korean, and I can tell you that instead Korea has quite week overseas connection.

Since I'm currently in the US, I also hope that the US has a high speed internet too.

Posted By walabaxi,

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