Korea Telecom restricting Samsung Smart TV internet access
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.