The contradictions of Korea never cease to amaze me. Although the per capita income is hovering around US$6800, the Korea Times reports this morning that 13 Seoul subway stations have been fitted out with wireless internet access for PDA’s and laptops. In the next couple of months this will be extended not only to all stations on lines 5, 6, 7 and 8, but antennas will be installed in tunnels, making continuous broadband access available on trains.
At home, I have a 4-6 Mb uncapped DSL connection, for which I pay about US$30 a month. In the 3 months or so I’ve had it, there hasn’t been a single outage. Meanwhile, tiny roadside plots of dirt along the highway that runs past my apartment beehive are being subsistence-farmed by the old people who live nearby. Sometimes it’s as if you can walk a hundred metres, and pass through a hundred years of history.