Why You Should Be Jealous of South Korea.

Ready to feel bad about your pokey yet overpriced Internet connection? Here you go:

By the end of 2012, South Korea intends to connect every home in the country to the Internet at one gigabit per second. That 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.

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...

Hong Kong and Japan offer gigabit service. Australia has a plan in the works for 2018.Google is drafting pilot programs for part of the Stanford campus and other locales in the United States. And Chattanooga, Tenn., has started a citywide gigabit service, reportedly at a staggering $350 a month...

South Koreans pay an average of $38 a month for connections of 100 megabits a second, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Americans pay an average of $46 for service that is molasses by comparison.

It was a simpler matter for the South Koreans to wire their country for broadband than it has been for us, because it's a relatively small and dense country. It's much easier to get broadband to 5,000 people living in an apartment complex in Seoul than 5,000 people spread across half of South Dakota. Nevertheless, they -- by which I mean both the Korean government and private Korean companies -- have been more aggressive about making sure their country is wired than probably anyone else in the world. And the absolute fastest Internet speeds available anywhere in the U.S., that only a tiny number of people enjoy and that cost an absurd amount of money? That's what every South Korean will have before long.

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