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KT launched GiGA Internet, Korea's First Nationwide Gigabit Internet Service on Oct. 20
10/27/2014 | By NETMANIAS (tech@netmanias.com)

Earlier in May, KT's Chairman Chang-gyu Hwang announced the company's GiGAtopia vision (see What's GiGAtopia envisioned by Chairman Chang-gyu Hwang of KT?). Then soon in June, KT made another announcement that it would commercialize gigabit Internet service in the second half of the year.
So, it has been predicted that the company would begin the service probably at the end of the year. But unlike the forecast, on October 20th, KT broke the news, at the World IT Show 2014 which took place as a part of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference held in Busan, that it started Korea’s first nationwide 1 Gbps Internet service titled "GiGA Internet service" on the same day, sooner than previously announced.
The company is about to finally open 1 Gbps home Internet speed era, after a long period of speed stagnation at 100 Mbps - for more than 10 years since its 100 Mbps cyber apartment Entopia LAN service commercialization in early 2000, and 7 years since its 100 Mbps FTTH service launch in 2007.


The GiGA Internet service is expected to support 1 Gbps for users living in a single home or apartment with fiber cabling, 1 Gbps or 500 Mbps for those with UTP cabling (Cat5/5e/6), and up to 500 Mbps for those who live in a very old (decades old) apartment building with telephone lines only.  
As we all know, what has been holding Korean network operators back from commercializing gigabit Internet service was not technical issues, but disagreement between the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) and the network operators on service fees and policies. To i) ensure return on investment made in building gigabit Internet networks, and ii) prevent enormous amounts of ggabit Internet bandwidth from being used by only a few heavy users, resulting in unfair and oligopolistic usage of network capacities, the operators have made suggestions, for example:  

  • to control traffic usage of users who cause excessive traffic
  • to adopt a partial volume-based charging plan to have users pay as they use (as in LTE)

After prolonged discussion with MSIP over the proposed measures, both parties agreed not to adopt partial volume-based charging, but stick to 'unlimited use plan with fixed rate'. However, to control heavy users' oligopolistic usage of bandwidth, they decide to impose a speed restriction of 100 Mbps on a heavy user whose daily usage reaches 100 GB, for the rest of the day.    
Recently, many network operators in the world have also begun commercialization of gigabit Internet service, as can be seen in the table below. So, it is really good to see Korea, the global ICT leader, finally waking up from hibernation, ready to make a leap forward.


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