Let’s admit it. The Internet is no longer just another technology. It’s become an essential component of daily life. More and more people are getting connected online. Just in 2006, 82% of the 6.5 billion population were unable to access the web. By 2011, the numbers have gone down to 65% for a population of 7 billion. With global internet usage numbers going up, the demand for high-speed connection have also become stronger. This clamor for quick access to the cyber world is compounded further by the rise of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter which encourages people to share-as-they-go, but new, and more powerful mobile devices, like smartphones and computer tablets are pushing the envelope when it comes to Internet speed.
Unfortunately, the reality of share as you go isn’t sweet. Many users complain about not tapping the full potential of their devices because of internet connection’s at a snail’s pace or the lack of any free Wi-Fi in public for their Wi-Fi-ready gadgets. Imagine if you can enjoy Wi-Fi anywhere, anytime, keeping true to the definition of a “wireless technology” where you can download songs or stream movies in train stations, city parks, heck, perhaps even in public bathrooms.
Thank God for Seoul. South Korea’s capital and largest city boasts not only of city-wide Wi-Fi access for their citizens, but also takes pride in delivering the fastest speeds in the planet. A massive broadband revolution changed how they connect in Seoul, and currently, the city has an 83% broadband penetration rate. On average, citizens of Seoul enjoy 11 mbps internet connection. That’s around four times as fast as the average speed in the use, and on top of Japan’s 8 mbps average. There are even certain parts of the city which can over up to mind-boggling 100 mbps!
With that kind of speed, you can download entire seasons in just an hour’s time. No need to wait for YouTube videos to load as well. You can also download high-definition films up to two-hours long in less than 5 minutes. Streaming will never lag too. But the best part is you can enjoy the service anywhere in the city. There are countless wireless hotspots in the Seoul and the city-government is planning to invest a further $44 million to cover the whole city, and even outside areas with Wi-Fi connection. This means you can really share-as-you-go. Imagine taking the subway and in the time it takes you to reach your destination, you would have downloaded enough movies for a marathon once you get home. Work is also easy because you can send emails and attach huge files with ease.
Seoul’s new broadband project may be expensive but that’s because they’re looking at blanketing up to 10,00 public zones, parks and streets of the city. With the investment pouring on such projects, it is no wonder why many countries are looking at the East Asian economic and technological powerhouse for their own broadband projects as well.
Here are some recommend technology reads as well:
- South Africa, Forerunner of African Technological Development
- Modernizing Internet Service Delivery Via Satellite Broadband