I noticed a fascinating couple of graphs in an article on the blog World Politics Review, Top 30 Countries for Broadband Internet Access. One of them showed Japan’s astounding average Internet speed: (note: because of difficulties at that site, they permanently lost that graphic. I recreated them, but the data has changed since then):
At the time I first checked (the old chart) Japan showed an impressive 15 megabits per second speed (I’m assuming this is for download as well as upload?) but Korea has now overtaken them at 25 megabits per second. I checked my broadband speed here in Canada via SpeedTest.net and my results are far better than that at the moment (about 52 megabits per second down, and 11.6 up).
Here’s another graph, from the Open Technology Institute regarding the Cost of Broadband worldwide. Here is the Average Speed of Plans Priced Between $35 and $50:
According to this, all that speed is incredibly cheap in Seoul, under a dollar per month per megabit in US Dollars, according to the article. Here in Vancouver, my Internet cost is coming in at about $78 for that 50 Megabits per second, so that works out to roughly $.64 (Canadian) per megabit, which would convert to almost exactly $.50 US per month per megabit. That’s better than the graph says (although it’s hard to tell, I’d read it at closer to $5 per month).
To make it a little clearly (maybe), here’s the chart for the Average Speed of Plans Priced over $50:
Now Tokyo clearly comes in with the biggest bang for buck, with spectacularly fast speeds (if you are willing to pay for them). I wonder if there are any Seoul plans over $50, or with the speed they get under that charge if nobody bothers.
Although I’ve been making some comparisons here, I’m wondering how life would change for me if Internet was about what it is now, but was 5 times faster, but I’m also wondering if this high level of service at relatively low cost would cause a flurry of Internet activity and development in Korea and Japan.
So, what’s it like? How has cheap, fast Broadband Internet made things different, and do you think it will change things in the coming decade? My friends in Korea Japan, your input here is welcome!