- The Future Boy Column in Business 2.0 this week focuses on the South Korea's status as the place to go to look at the consequences of providing a whole population with cheap, fast broadband. The South Koreans are integrating connectivity into their culture in fascinating and suggestive ways--ways that the author suggests make Korea's future dominance in the area probable.
- In an complementary essay Susan Crawford uses the Korean (and Japanese experience) as an excuse for focusing on getting more competition in the US market. There are only a few basic choices and each has its problems.
- The third story, an older one from Wired, takes a less economic tack. It focuses on cultural issues and cultural assumptions. In it the story is that the South Koreans have figured out that big broadband is most readily driven by social interaction; not by the solitary, couch-potato vision of consumption that drives the dreams of American providers. From the article:
"South Korea's broadband commons challenges North American assumptions about what bandwidth is for and why it's relevant. In the US, cable, telephone, and media companies spin visions of set-top boxes and online jukeboxes, trying to "leverage content" and turn old archives into new media streams. There is a profound fear of empowering consumers to share media in a self-organizing way on a mass scale. Yet this is precisely what makes South Korea the broadband capital of the world. It's not a futuristic fantasy that caters to alienated couch potatoes; it's a present-day reality that meets the needs of a culture of joiners a place where physical and virtual are not mutually exclusive categories ..."