Korea is the most wired country in the world, with the fastest internet speeds and highest usage among the general population. Internet access is, literally, everywhere in Seoul – you can’t walk down a street without running into a PC Bang (Korea’s version of an internet cafe) where locals gather to battle in virtual war games. Yes, Korean men and women of all ages enjoy playing virtual games and that is largely why PC Bang exist, but you can still get regular internet access at these locations and can often chat or make a Skype phone call from your little booth. Printing services are also available at most PC Bang in Seoul. Expect to pay about 1,000 won for an hour plus extra if you’re printing (approximately 100 won per page).
The lowest internet speeds you’ll find in Seoul will still generally be faster than any speed you were used to at home (unless you’re moving from Japan, perhaps). By the end of 2012, the Korean Communications Commission will attempt to double the current internet speed, aiming at a speed of 1 Gbps. Currently, the internet speed from broadband in Korea is about 100 Mbps. If you’re looking for the fastest possible internet speed, do your homework and take the time to check out the following internet service providers. Even though you’ll be experiencing the fastest internet in the world, it will not cost you an arm and a leg. Expect to pay about 30,000 to 50,000 won a month on internet services from any of these companies:
Hanaro Telecom: http://www.skbroadband.com/ Telephone: 106 (02-106 from your cellphone).
Onse Telecom: http://www.onse.net Telephone: 083-101 (02-083-101 on your cellphone)
KT (Korea Telecom): http://www.kt.co.kr Telephone: 100 (02-100 from your cellphone)
Cable and More ( C&M): http://blog.daum.net/hyuns210/135 Telephone: 1644-7564
Since you can only get English service sometimes with these companies, your best bet to get set up with the internet in your home is to have a Korean speaking friend or coworker call the company of your choice and arrange for a set up. All of these companies have similar packages to offer with similar prices, but go over the websites with your Korean friend and see if there are specific packages you’re looking for with your internet service. You need to sign a one or two year contract and, aside from paying your monthly internet fees, a small modem rental fee will be included in your bill.
Once you make arrangements with one of these providers, they will send a representative to set up the internet in your home. Generally, they will tell you to stay home for a certain amount of time and the representative will arrive within the set time limit. There is an installation fee which is usually around 30,000 or 35,000 won. After you pay the fee and your internet is set up, you shouldn’t have any further issues with internet access. Installation usually takes less than thirty minutes.
If you find you are having trouble with internet access, call your provider and they will send a technician to solve your problem (again, you may need the help of a Korean speaking friend). You can also call 1330 from your cellphone and they can assist you in contacting a representative from the cable company, if there is a problem.If there is someone at the office of your cable provider that speaks English, they may also be able to ask them to call you back. Repair services are usually free if there have been no damages.