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South Korea Wants 1Gig for All

Light Reading
LR Cable News Analysis
Light Reading
2/23/2011

South Korea's move to test Internet connections that provide speeds 200 times faster than most U.S. broadband services leads today's cable news roundup.

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) may have something big in mind with its coming trials of 1Gbit/s speeds over fiber, but South Korea has much, much bigger ideas in mind with a project that envisions connecting every home in the country to 1Gig Internet links by the end of 2012. An initial government-led pilot project has about 1,500 homes wired up with those speeds, with customers paying less than US$27 each. (See Google Delays Fiber Picks and Googlemania!.)

  • DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) shares jumped about 3 percent this morning on news that it added 289,000 subscribers during the fourth quarter -- its best performance in a decade.

  • Challenging DirecTV's 3-D play, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) flipped the switch today on Xfinity 3D. (See Comcast Tunes Up 3DTV.)

  • A day after Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) challenged Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX)'s Web video streaming business, Netflix returned fire by cutting a reported $200 million deal that gives it rights to stream Frasier, Star Trek and other CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) properties. (See Amazon Fires Shot at Netflix's Bow .)

  • Competitive cable overbuilder Knology Inc. (Nasdaq: KNOL) picked up some small systems in Alabama and Georgia with its $30 million acquisition of Cobridge Broadband. (See Knology Reports Q4.)

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

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    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 5:12:20 PM
    re: South Korea Wants 1Gig for All


    Interesting to see the quote there from the Nielsen Norman Group co-founder claiming that "gigabit Internet is essential for the future, absolutely essential, and all the technologists will tell you this."


    Then he goes into the why... cloud computing, games, videoconferencing, etc. But agree that it's hard to see how the average consumer will need that kind of capacity today.  I seem to recall that the same argument came up several years ago when the next big frontier was 100Mbit/s.


    But also interesting to see that some MSOs in Europe are already tinkering around with trials that product 1gig+ speeds using Docsis 3.0... so they're prepping for where they think the future will be.


    But for now, what South Korea is proposing in both speed and price, makes the US look like a bunch of broadband laggards, whether that perception is fair or not. JB

    SteveDonohue
    SteveDonohue
    12/5/2012 | 5:12:20 PM
    re: South Korea Wants 1Gig for All


    $27 for 1-gig is definitely a great deal, but who needs that much sppeed? I'm getting at least 20 Mbps through my ISP, and that's fast enough for viewing broadband video on my PC. Maybe one of the concerns U.S. MSOs have in offering cheap D3 connections is that it could empower Netflix and OTT providers, and it would also make it easier for consumers with broadband connected TVs to cut their pay TV programming packages?


     


     

    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 5:12:20 PM
    re: South Korea Wants 1Gig for All


    US$27 seems pretty darn reasonable for a 1-gig connection (even if it is for this trial phase) when compared to what US MSOs are charging for much slower D3 services. i realize SPs like to keep margins nice and high for HSD high, but what's going on here in South Korea makes it look like cable wideband pricing in the US is being kept artificially high. Almost seems like they are keeping those prices high to keep demand in check... like they really don't want customers to sign up for D3 en masse yet. JB

    paolo.franzoi
    paolo.franzoi
    12/5/2012 | 5:12:19 PM
    re: South Korea Wants 1Gig for All


    Please don't completely fall for the sale of access port bit rates.  How about those of us here do a bit more definition of the service and compare the oversubscription ratios throughout the metro at least.


    If I sell you a GigE port but it is has a shared GigE uplink with 750 subs then really it is no better performance than what you get out of a cable modem.


    seven


     

    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 5:12:17 PM
    re: South Korea Wants 1Gig for All


    Well, that's true... everyone, SPs included, needs to be careful of touting what is generally just the theoretical, advertised speeds on the access.  But marketers -- and governments -- have more fun dealing in the perception game. JB

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