Linked by David Adams on Thu 24th Jun 2010 18:30 UTC, submitted by neticspace
Internet & Networking Internet users throughout the world, and particularly in the United States, have long been chastened to hear of South Korea's legendary broadband penetration. The urbanized, technologically-advanced nation has been famous for rolling out ultra high speed network for the majority of its citizens, and many of us have looked on with envy. However, it turns out it's not all good news. An OSNews reader gives us the skinny from the trenches in Korea.
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Korean internet has more ups than downs.
by fermented on Fri 25th Jun 2010 05:45 UTC
fermented
Member since:
2010-06-25

David, I have lived in Seoul now for about two years, and I agree that most of things you mention in your post are annoying. The ID requirements, IE6 on every computer sucks, not to mention the seizure inducing style of most korean websites are truly terrible (www.gmarket.co.kr/ is a prime example).

BUT...as long as you are using your own computer and read a bit of hangul, the Korean internet isn't so bad. A lot of sites like CGV theaters, naver, daum, and Gmarket allow foreigners to register, (though many more sites down't). I love getting tickets for movies on CGV's site. It couldn't be easier...unless it were in english. You can get amazing deals on gmarket. They even have an english site. I personally bought an oven on it.

And let's be honest, the infrastructure and pricing is great, it's just the internet design culture thats outdated and fracked. I have a 100mb fiber connection from KT for just 33,000 (roughly 30 bucks) a month. It's amazing. And it only took 24 hours to have it installed. Last time I ordered internet in the states it took comcast 3 weeks to come connect my service.

Also, Seoul has city wide wireless WiBro Service. My friend has it and loves it. bittorrent on the subway? No problem.

I'm going back to the states soon, and frankly I'm scared to go back to broadband stone age. Is it true that broadband data caps are the in thing in america? ARRRRG!

Reply Score: 2

M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

the seizure inducing style of most korean websites are truly terrible (www.gmarket.co.kr/ is a prime example).


..!

That site made my head feel like it was evaporating.

Reply Parent Score: 1

fukudasan Member since:
2006-06-04

Couldn't agree more about gmarket, I have been on there looking for things all weekend so far and sometimes it makes your eyes water, although it does work. But go to any of its competitors and they are really no better. I think adding things to your "Wish List" and keeping them there would probably make routine purchases easier.

In practical terms the Korean Internet gets faster all the time, and after nearly six years of being online here, I personally have few complaints, except the aforementioned government web sites, which if anything seem to get worse rather than better. The worst aspect is, however, that you can have six or seven Windoze machines in the same teachers' staff room and maybe not have it work on any of them - or any one of your own at home. And then someone else will pipe up and say: "Oh, but it works perfectly on my machine!"

Conversely, a weird thing happened this week which I still cannot explain: My new employer (an elementary school north of Busan) has a link on their web site to Arirang online services, including Flash-based multimedia stuff for use in the classroom. For some reason, a file suddenly stopped streaming in mid-sentence and couldn't be made to work again without restarting a new instance of IE.

Firefox is installed on the same machine and it works there, but the display is somehow wrong and cannot (for some reason) be adjusted. I mention this because I have tried the same site on my Mandriva desktop at home, and using Firefox it works perfectly every time.

Generally speaking, however, the Internet here (and I use SK, or Hanafos as it used to be originally) is not too expensive, is installed at the drop of a hat and is fast enough for all of my purposes, like Internet voice and video telephony, downloading etc., and I feel I have no complaints.

And the requirement for national alien ID is actually quite rare in everyday life. Normally there is no problem either ordering things online or paying for them - although I normally go to the local ATM to make payments, it's very little effort and the exercise is good for me. ^_^

Reply Parent Score: 1

rif42 Member since:
2005-11-20

About the busy Internet page of gmarket in South-Korea. Take a look at Google's page even that is rather crowded.

http://www.google.co.kr/

Reply Parent Score: 1