Thursday, March 30, 2006

Korea NOT most wired?

An AP story is purporting that Korea is not "the world's 'most-wired' nation," as is often purported.

The evidence, citing a poll conducted by Ipsos Insight, is questionable: Korea came out only at #4 in terms of how many people had used the Internet in the past month, with 68 percent saying yes. Japan came in first at 89 percent, Canada second with 72 percent, and the United States third with 71 percent.

But the "most-wired," as I understand it, refers to high-speed penetration, not what the study measured. Furthermore, there are admitted flaws in the gathering of data, such as Ipsos researchers only surveying people in urban areas in India (15% usage) and China (50% usage), though this may not have affected Korea's standing.

When I have a chance, I'll update this with a ranking of high-speed penetration, along with wireless availability. I believe some small-scale city-states may be higher than Korea in one or both of these areas, but I'm not yet sure.

Ipsos says that South Korea also didn't own the top slot in time spent online:
The survey found that Korean Internet users, on average, were online for 12.7 hours each week, behind those in China (17.9 hours a week) and Japan (13.9). Canadian Web surfers clocked 12.3 hours each week and Americans were fifth at 11.4, followed by Mexicans at 9.2.
Korea came in only at #14 in the World Economic Forum's "networked readiness index," which measures everything from math and science education to the diffusion of various technologies. The US was first, Singapore was second, followed by Denmark and Iceland.

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