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The Second Digital Divide

Posted May. 05, 2005 23:36,   


“The top five percent account for 50 percent of total Internet usage.”

This is not related with the real estate market, but shows the current situation of the Internet usage of “the Internet power of Korea.”

According to a report of Korea Telecom’s (KT) stance on “pay-as-you-go high-speed Internet” obtained by Dong-a Ilbo, It was revealed that the top five percent of netizens ranked on the basis of Internet data usage account for 50 percent of total Internet data usage.

Although until now, there has been lots of speculation that on the basis of the Internet usage, the proportion used by the top 20 percent of netizens has reached 80 percent of total Internet usage, this is first time specific figures from telelcommunication companies have been made public. This report was also submitted to the Ministry of Information and Communication and the National Assembly.

The Next Generation Communication Research Institute of KT surveyed usage of the Internet over its two Internet services, Megapass Premium and Light, which belong to its Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) Internet service from last January to last July.

This survey showed that for Megapass Premium, on the basis of the Internet usage, subscribers making up the top five percent used 50.6 percent of the service’s total usage. Also, while the proportion used by subscribers making up the top 50 percent stood at 94.9 percent, the proportion of the bottom 50 percent reached 5.1 percent.

Internet usage is different from time spent accessing the Internet. It means the total amount of data that subscribers upload to or download from the Internet.

As for Megapass Premium service, the amount of data used by subscribers of the top five percent for one month averages 47.9 GB per person. This is the approximately the equivalent of 80 movies being downloaded from the Internet.

As of late April, KT had the highest market share in the local market with about 6.1 million high-speed Internet subscribers. Among them, the number of subscribers to its ADSL service is around four million.

A report released by the Korea Information Strategy Development Institute (KISDI) in February, 2004 showed that while professional workers accessed the Internet for an average of 20.2 hours a week, workers in agriculture and the fishing industry only accessed the Internet for an average of five hours a week.

Suk-Min Hong smhong@donga.com