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Superfast Korea caps connected TVs

Samsung Smart TVA leading Korean broadband provider has capped downloads to connected TVs in a chilling warning for UK users.

Despite a national average internet speed three times as fast as the UK, Korea Telecom decided the latest connected TVs are using too much data.

Traffic to the devices will be throttled after months of negotiation with TV manufacturers failed to find a solution.

The latest connected TV consume up to 15 times as much data as older models, but unlike dedicated broadband IPTV services, they share internet capacity with other users.

Kim Hyo-sil, director of KT’s smart network policy team, said: ‘Smart TVs are comprehensive entertainment devices that receive high-resolution content like high-definition and 3-D videos for a long period of time.

‘So compared to IPTVs [Internet Protocol TVs], they consume five to 15 times more data and, in the case of real-time streaming, hundreds of times more data.’

Ownership of smart TVs in Korea is expected to triple from its current level of over 1m to 2.93m sets by 2013.

Korea Telecom has its own IPTV service, Mega TV, which is in direct competition with smart TVs from domestic manufacturers Samsung and LG.

Samsung has accused Korea Telecom of violating the principle of ‘net neutrality’ – that all internet traffic is equal. If this was the UK, we imagine they’d be calling in the Competition Commission.