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Korean blow to online video as KT limits access to TV ‘free riders’

Joseph O’Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 12-02-2012


Korea Telecom has struck what could be a hugely significant blow to online TV and connected TV by limiting access over its networks to bandwidth–hungry applications.

The leading telco pinpointed connected TV manufacturers a particular source of network bottlenecks, warning that heir increased usage could be detrimental to its network as a whole.

This is a hugely controversial stance given, not only the general consensus towards net neutrality, but also the status Samsung and LG in their home territory and especially given both TV makers’ huge success in delivering smart TVs.

Said KT executive Kim Hyo-sil: “Internet-enabled TVs increase network traffic by up to 15 times compared to conventional IPTVs. At the current growth rate and user increase, the network won’t be able to accommodate traffic requirements and consequently it could slow down overall Internet speed. TV manufacturers are free-riding on our network, while our capacity to invest and upgrade it is shrinking due to worsening profitability. We need a better business model.

Reports from the Reuters news agency have suggested KT is in discussions with LG in order to resolve the matter but has refused so far to engage Samsung in any similar correspondence.

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