IT plan calls for big spending, jobs
High-speed Internet and wireless broadband services will be 10 times faster by the end of 2012, according to a recent government plan.
The Korea Communications Commission said in an announcement released for publication yesterday that the project will improve the nation’s overall IT infrastructure. The KCC said in the release that the project will cater to the public’s diverse IT needs.
The plan calls for a total spending of 34.1 trillion won ($24.6 billion) over the next five years. The central government will put up 1.3 trillion won, with the remainder coming from private telecom operators. The project is expected to create 120,000 jobs.
The most remarkable change is that high-speed Internet and wireless broadband services will be upgraded to 1 Gbps broadband and 10 Mbps, meaning their speeds will increase by 10 times compared to current services. Existing communications networks will also be enhanced to Internet protocol-based systems. With IP-based networks, current landline phones will be automatically converted to voice-over-Internet protocol, or Internet telephony.
KT, the nation’s biggest landline phone operator, voiced support for the plan. “Under the plan, we won’t have to give up our landline phone business right away, and the mainstream is Internet telephony service, so we think the plan is positive,” said a KT official.
The KCC said the changes will make high-definition TV images up to 16 times clearer, and interactive TV services such as e-commerce and home schooling will also be possible. The service will also make it possible to watch I-Max films on home TVs.
“This plan will bring innovation to the public’s digital lives,” KCC said in the release. Digital TV coverage will also rise to 96 percent in 2012 from the current 87 percent, according to the plan. The KCC added that the project will help Korea cement its position as one of the world’s leading IT countries. More than 94 percent of Korean households already have access to high-speed Internet services, and Korea has the highest number of subscribers to broadband services in the world as of last year, according to OECD data.
By Sung So-young Staff Reporter [firstname.lastname@example.org]