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Wednesday, 6 November, 2002, 10:36 GMT
South Korea claims net 'super' status
South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung
Dae-Jung: "Advanced information-communication nation"
South Korea has boosted its credentials as the world's most internet-friendly country by revealing plans to hook up every household to a high-speed net connection.

South Korea, where 60% of the country's 48 million citizens surf, is to ensure all homes can receive broadband connections by 2005.

The 13.3 trillion won (6.99bn; $10.9bn) programme will be funded by KT Corp, the country's biggest telecoms firm, and internet service providers, backed by government loans.

The broadband connections will be fast enough to transmit the equivalent of 370 newspaper pages in one second, the Ministry of Information and Communication said.

'Knowledge superpower'

The announcement came as the ministry revealed that the number of South Koreans subscribing to broadband services had topped 10 million.

Net crazy
South Koreans spend more time in front of computers than watching television

The figure showed that South Korea was becoming a "knowledge superpower country", President Kim Dae-Jung said.

The number "will serve as an important stepping stone for the country to emerge as an advanced information-communication nation in the 21st century", he added.

The new programme is aimed at taking the number of broadband subscribers to 13.5 million by 2005.

Net fanatics

South Koreans spend more time in front of computers than watching television, using the internet to order food, shop, and even consult doctors.

Online stock trading accounts for 65% of turnover on the Korea Stock Exchange, compared with 7.6% in Taiwan, and 3.8% in Japan.

The country has spent 11 trillion won since 1998 on internet infrastructure, which is backed by an extensive cable TV network.


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