This month in the Bandwidth Report we compare Korea’s record broadband growth to the US. Subsidized by the Korean government, broadband is spreading at a rapid pace in Korea, with over 70% of wired users now on their high-speed network. In the US, broadband grew by 0.42 percentage points in May, with 35.9% of wired US users enjoying a high-speed connection.
The charts below, derived from Nielsen//NetRatings data, show the trends in connection speeds to the Internet in the US.
Home Connectivity in the US
As of May 2003, most users in the US connect to the Internet using dial-up modems of 56Kbps or less. 51.6% use 56Kbps modems, 9.32% use 28/33.3Kbps, and 3.2% use 14.4Kbps modems. In total, 64.13% of home users in the US connect to the Internet at 56Kbps or less (see Figure 1).
Web Connection Speed Trends – Home Users (US)
Figure 1: Web Connection Speed Trends – Home Users (US)
Broadband Growth in the US
Broadband penetration in US homes increased by 0.42 percentage points in May. As of May 2003 broadband penetration was at 35.87%, up from 35.45% in April. This is lower than the average increase in broadband of 0.72 percentage points per month from October 1999 to April 2003. Extrapolating the data provided by Nielsen//NetRatings, broadband share in the US should exceed 50% by June of 2004 (see Figure 2).
Broadband Connection Speed Trend – Home Users (US)
Figure 2: Broadband Connection Speed Trend – Home Users (US)
Extrapolated from Nielsen//NetRatings data
Most workers in the US enjoy high-speed connections to the Internet. Most use a high-speed line such as a T1 connection, and share bandwidth between computers connected to a network. The speed of each connection decreases as more employees hook up to the LAN. As of May of 2003, of those connected to the Internet, 69.7% of US users at work enjoy a high-speed connection, up from 69.3% in April. 30.3% connect from work at 56Kbps or less (see Figure 3).
Web Connection Speed Trends – Work Users (US)
Figure 3: Web Connection Speed Trends – Work Users (US)
Korean Broadband Penetration
Meanwhile, over in Korea the broadband revolution continues. According to the Ministry of Information and Communication, broadband penetration now exceeds 70% in Korea, with over 10 million subscribers hooked up to their high-speed Internet network. For the unwired, three mobile carriers are offering CDMA-based third-generation mobile services to more than 32 million users.
Korean Broadband News and Information
- Korean Information & Communication Co. Ltd
- Korea Telecom
- Ministry of Information and Communication in Korea
- See “Korea maps out broadband IT plan” (04/29/2003)
- “Broadband Internet Ubiquitous as Electricity” (11/17/2002)
- The Bandwidth Capital of the World – Wired 10:8, August 2002
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