CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. How we test ISPs

South Korea gets super-duper fast internet

While video buffers continue to bug you every night, people are enjoying lightning fast internet in the land of kimchi.


What if you're watching an exciting match streamed live when it suddenly stops because of crappy internet connection? South Korea's internet gets crazy fast with SK Broadband's rollout of 2.5 Gbps internet speeds and the firm promised it'll get even quicker.


South Korea is home to the fastest internet on the planet. And it's gotten even quicker.

The country's internet provider, SK Broadband, has rolled out internet running at 2.5 gigabits per second in the country, ZDNet reported Thursday. The company will also make internet running at 5 and 10 Gbps available in the later half of this year, it added.

This will make internet in South Korea -- which CNET reporter Stephen Shankland called "a country obsessed with superfast networks" -- insanely fast compared to those in other countries.

Locating local internet providers

The average connection speed in the US last year, for example, was 18.7 megabits per second, according to Akamai's State of the Internet Report.

The announcement comes two months after the South Korean government said it will pick two consortia to work on projects aimed at accelerating the commercialisation of 10 Gb internet.

Locating local internet providers

The country also has plans to commercialise 5G by next March, although AT&T expressed hopes it can launch the network "in a dozen markets" by end of this year.

The feat was accomplished using gigabit passive optical network (or GPON) technology, which allows the internet to run as fast as 52.5 Gbps with one cable (or core) and host 128 subscribers, ZDNet said, quoting SK Broadband.

Connecting multiple devices to the network (including phones , tablets and AI speakers) enables internet on each device to run as fast as 1 Gbps, although on average users will see connections going at 833 Mbps, the company added.

While coverage is no more than half yet, SK Broadband said it will invest one trillion won (about $933 million) to double it from 40 to 80 percent by 2020.

10 Gbps internet speeds sound mega-quick, but there's something else faster in the region. The first 100 Gbps network in Southeast Asia, set up by the Singapore Advanced Research and Education Network, was made available to researchers and students at partner universities in 2014, allowing them to transfer files as quickly as 12.5 Gbps.

Watch this: Microsoft wants to bring broadband to millions of rural Americans

'Hello, humans': Google's Duplex could make Assistant the most lifelike AI yet.

Cambridge Analytica: Everything you need to know about Facebook's data mining scandal.