Singapore — According to Internet measurement firm NetValue, Korea – the leader in broadband usage among NetValue’s 11 country user panels worldwide – may provide a glimpse of what the future may hold for Europe and the U.S. in the areas of broadband access and audio/video trends.
More than half of Korean households connect to the Internet via broadband. Of this 57.3 percent of the population, 73.9 percent were using audio/video (files that are downloaded or streamed online) by February 2001, and 54.1 percent of these broadband-connected homes used gaming protocols (mainly the multi-player 3D games).
More Koreans had ADSL broadband connections (38.6 percent) than cable-enabled ones (18.6 percent), while 0.1 percent used satellite-based broadband connectivity.
Of the 11 countries studied, the U.S. came in a distant second behind Korea in percentage of households connecting via broadband by February this year. Only 11.1 percent of online households connected via broadband (about one in nine), with a majority (7.6 percent) using cable-based broadband. The U.S., however, was the only country out of all 11 to have households that used T1/leased line broadband connectivity (0.2 percent).
And of the European countries, France had the highest percentage of broadband households by February 2001, at 6 percent, with 4 percent of that figure favoring cable-based broadband. Denmark, Germany, Spain and the U.K. brought up the rear; their broadband-connected households ranged from 5.8 percent to 3.1 percent (the U.K. being the last) of the total online population.
Spain outshone its European counterparts in terms of Internet audio/video usage, hitting a high of 33.8 percent of all Internet users in that country.
Asian countries fared better than the European ones, with Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan broadband users registering 8.1 percent, 7.1 percent, and 6.2 percent of total online households, respectively.
More users in these three countries had cable-based broadband connectivity than ADSL-based connectivity, with the gap being as wide as 6.6 percent versus 0.5 percent in the case of Singapore’s online households.
More than one-third of Internet users in Hong Kong used audio/video (35 percent), while only 8.6 percent used gaming protocols. This situation was somewhat reflected in Singapore, with 32 percent using audio/video and 4.7 percent using gaming protocols. Taiwan, however, closed the gap between these groups, with 21.6 percent using audio/video and 12.4 percent using gaming protocols.