A major South Korean corporation will look to work with a small and medium-sized company to build a pilot giga internet network in the U.S. This project is expected to be a bridgehead and a litmus test on whether South Korea’s giga internet technology and service models are able to go globally or not.
The National Information Society Agency (NIA) selected SK Broadband as the company that will oversee a giga internet pilot service project in Sacramento utilizing domestic G.fast equipment. G.fast is a technology that is able to provide a giga-level speed through telephone line without having to install a separate optical cable. SK Broadband will build a giga internet network in Sacramento using domestic G.fast equipment and open a commercialized circuit.
SK Broadband will form a consortium with a small and medium-sized company and partner up with an American internet service provider (ISP) and build a pilot network in Sacramento using domestic G.fast equipment. Afterwards, it will then look for preliminary and new subscribers from local store buildings along with the ISP.

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It plans to provide a G.fast equipment-based internet service with an average speed of 1.3Gbps and test the surrounding environment and demonstrate and verify performance of domestic equipment. It will then decide on whether to expand its service after looking at reactions the locals. Cost of G.fast is relatively inexpensive as it does not require a new optical cable to be installed. There also is not much financial burden for construction as G.fast can be easily applied to old buildings as well. This indicates that there is a great marketability for G.fast in the U.S. where it requires an enormous amount to install new optical cables due to the country’s large land.
A positive result from the project is expected to be a great reference for South Korean telecommunications companies that desire to go globally such as Europe that faces difficulties in building new cables due to the number of old buildings and historic sites and South-East Asia. SK Broadband plans to begin its project by end of this year as soon as it has talks with Korea Association for ICT Promotion and the small and medium-sized company that is going to form a consortium with SK Broadband.
“As 5G technologies are being commercialized, a need to popularize 10giga internet to provide smoother services is receiving a spotlight again.” said one telecommunications expert. “The U.S. and Europe where it is difficult to set up new optical cables will be opportunities for South Korean telecommunications companies to prove their technical skills in G.fast equipment that is able to use existing copper wire infrastructures as they are.”
Staff Reporter Park, Jungeun | jepark@etnews.com & Staff Reporter Park, Jisung | jisung@etnews.com