Skip Navigation

Korea Telecom restricting Samsung Smart TV internet access
Monday 13 February 2012 12:40:15 by Andrew Ferguson

Net Neutrality and providers blocking or restricting speeds to certain locations has generally not impacted the average home consumer, but it seems in South Korea owners of a Samsung Smart TV may not be too happy if their connection is provided by Korea Telecom. WhatHiFi featured the news that Korea Telecom is to start restricting internet access for apps and streaming on Samsung Smart TV's.

Apparently there is research showing that the latest generation of Smart TV is consuming five to fifteen times more data than older IPTV services. A lot of this is down to better integration of applications and the availability of high definition material, and with a TV people have a tendency to leave it running, whereas with a computer people tend to close or stop a stream when not viewing it. Some of the numbers mentioned though are hard to believe, as we would be surprised if an IPTV system could stream video that was hundreds of times lower in terms of bandwidth than the new TV's.

It is not just Korea Telecom (KT), as the countries three main providers are looking to charge the TV makers, and LG is in talks about paying for network usage, thus is not going to be blocked at this time. This may set a precedent that other providers around the world will consider exploiting, though providers can reduce their costs by ensuring content delivery platforms are embedded deep in their network, rather than consuming lots of peering capacity.

South Korea is often trumpeted as the place to be for broadband, but these issues around Net Neutrality reflect that perhaps when it comes to actual services across the delivery platform that things may be less advanced than the UK. The 1 Gbps full fibre services form a WDM-PON trial in Greater Seoul at this time, but according to a blog is KT losing on its own IPTV service, and is not looking at expanding the Gigabit coverage.


Posted by otester over 5 years ago
TV manufacturers should stick together and refuse to pay, this is the ISP's fault.
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@otester: It's not that simple. You can license different codecs (i.e. pay more to get more efficient codec which uses less bandwidth) for example. In the end it's up to the user to choose a provide that meets their needs (which may cost more in some cases). You can't just keep asking ISPs to supply an endless amount of bandwidth at the same price.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago

I am simply asking for ISP's to be realistic when offering products so they cover themselves when it comes to network infrastructure costs, something that big ISP's generally fail to do.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Of course it can never be the end-users fault, for playing 24 episodes back to back. The TV decided to do that all on its own.

Oddly when some providers in the UK are realistic with usage allowances, they find everyone still jumps to the provider promising the earth instead.
Posted by fibrebunny over 5 years ago
It is indeed that simple you contract the ISP to provide a service. This doesn't mean you agree to subsidise their failed business model via a surcharge on goods. Should appliance manufacturers subsidise utility companies if they were too crocked to advertise and charge appropriately.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Business models allow for the price to go up to the consumer though, or a provider to end-of-life a product.

Thus they can adjust their model.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago

But eventually those people that jump get burnt and then come back with their tail behind their legs.
Posted by c_j_ over 5 years ago
"playing 24 episodes back to back, the TV decided to do that all on its own."

Given the 'variable' quality of the software I've seen in a great deal of consumer electronics, and not just the cheap stuff, that actually seems entirely plausible, certainly more plausible than widely available "unlimited" internet at affordable prices.
Posted by c_j_ over 5 years ago
Come to think of it, I've already had *exactly* that experience with my very own Slingbox, which on one occasion decided to carry on sending until further notice even though I'd stopped watching remotely (well, stopped programming the video, but you get the drift).
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.