Imagine having internet connection at 1GB per second at home

Well, this may be possible in South Korea, where a pilot gigabit project initiated by the government intends to connect every home in the country to the Internet at one gigabit per second by the end of 2012. A pilot gigabit project initiated by the government is under way, with 5,000 households in five South Korean cities wired. Each customer pays about 30,000 won a month, or less than $27.

The President Obama admitted that South Korean homes have greater Internet access than USA homes. But what is more surprising is that in South Korea the monthly fee is cheaper. The gigabit project would be a tenfold increase from the already blazing national standard and more than 200 times as fast as the average household setup in the United States.

Mr. Choi declined to guess what private South Korean service providers might charge for the one-gigabit service. But he said it would be nowhere near the $70 a month charged for gigabit rates in Japan. “I can’t imagine anyone in Korea paying that much”, he said. “No, no, that’s unthinkable”.

“The gigabit Internet is essential for the future, absolutely essential, and all the technologists will tell you this,” said Don Norman, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, a leading technology consultancy in Fremont, Calif. “We’re all going to be doing cloud computing, for example, and that won’t work if you’re not always connected. Games. Videoconferencing. Video on demand. All this will require huge bandwidth, huge speed.”

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