Reciprocity of Government Restructuring/Policy Changes and the Convergent Environment in South Korea

Main Article Content



Korean telecommunications, broadband ecosystem, telecommunication policy and regulation, government restructuring


This paper takes the approach that policy responses to environmental challenges are at least partially dependent on the structure of governmental decision-making bodies. How ministries and regulatory bodies are designed and put together affect both their policy outlooks and managerial capabilities, in turn affecting their policy output. Governments have also consciously restructured ministries and regulators in order to promote specific policy orientations, or in response to changes in the industry. This two-way interaction is critically important to the responses of governments to the emerging broadband ecosystem.  The paper examines four different restructurings in the Korean government, and argues that the identification of a governmental agency as a nodal agency was the result of a new policy orientation, and the response to an environmental change. Though no two countries are totally similar in terms of their industrial and political environments or policy needs, the paper is based on the premise that the example of South Korea has useful lessons for other countries, as a leading indicator of changes in government regulatory structures in response to convergence and the emergence of the broadband ecosystem.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 438 | PDF Downloads 15


Borgman, C. (2000). From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Business Monitor International (BMI). (2014). South Korea Information Technology Report Q1 2014.

Choudrie, J., & Lee, H. (2004). Broadband development in South Korea: Institutional and cultural factors. European Journal of Information Systems, 13, 103–114.

Chung, I. (2006). Broadband, the information society, and national systems: The Korean case. In M. Fransman (Ed.), Global broadband battles: Why the US and Europe lag while Asia leads (pp. 87–108). Stanford: Stanford Business Books.
Fransman, M. (2006). Introduction. In M. Fransman (Ed.), Global broadband battles: Why the US and Europe lag behind while Asia leads (pp. 1–58). Stanford, CA: Stanford Business.
Frieden, R. (2005). Lessons from broadband development in Canada, Japan, Korea and the U.S. Telecommunications Policy, 29 (8), 595–613.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) (2005). Ubiquitous network societies: the case of the Republic of Korea. ITU Workshop on ubiquitous network societies, ITU New Initiatives Programme, Geneva (April 6-8, 2005). Retrieved from

Jho, W. (2007), Liberalization as a development strategy: Network governance in the Korean mobile telecom market. Governance, 20, 633–654.

Johnson, C. (1982). MITI and the Japanese miracle: the growth of industrial policy 1925–1975. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Jung, H., Na, K., & Yoon, C. (2013). The role of ICT in Korea’s economic growth: Productivity changes across industries since the 1990s. Telecommunications Policy, 37(4/5), 292-310. doi:10.1016/j.telpol.2012.06.006

Kim, M.-J., & Park, J. (2013). Mobile phone purchase and usage behavior of early adopter groups in Korea. Behavior and Information Technology,

Kim, Y., Jeon, H., & Bae, S. (2008). Innovation patterns and policy implications of ADSL penetration in Korea: a case study. Telecommunications Policy, 32, 307–325.

Korea Communications Commission (KCC). (2010). 2010 Korea Communications Commission Annual Report. Retrieved from

Korea Communications Commission (KCC). (2012). 2012 Korea Communications Commission Annual Report. Retrieved from

Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI). (2012). Competition report in the telecommunications market 2012 (Korean). Retrieved from

Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) (2013). Korea Internet white paper. Retrieved from

Larson, J. F., & Park, J. (2014). From developmental to network state: Government restructuring and ICT-led innovation in Korea. Telecommunications Policy, 38(4), 344-359.

Lau, T. Y., Kim, S. W., & Atkin, D. (2005). An examination of factors contributing to South Korea’s global leadership in broadband adoption. Telematics and Informatics, 22(4), 349-359.

Lee, C., & Chan-Olmsted, S. M. (2004). Competitive advantage of broadband Internet: a comparative study between South Korea and the United States. Telecommunications Policy, 28, 649-677.

Lee, H., O’Keefe, R. M., & Yun, K. (2003). The growth of broadband and electronic commerce in South Korea: Contributing factors. The Information Society, 19, 81–93.

Lee, N. C. (2002). Broadband Internet Service: Korea’s Experience. Retrieved April 30, 2014 from

Levy, B. & Spiller, P. (1996). Regulations, institutions, and commitment: Comparative studies of telecommunications. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Menon, S. (2011). Policy Agendas for South Korea's Broadband Convergence Network Infrastructure Project. Review of Policy Research, 28(4), 347-364. doi:10.1111/j.1541- 1338.2011.00501.x

National Computerization Agency (NCA). (1999). Informatization white paper 1996. Retrieved from

National Information Society Agency (NIA). (2010). 2010 Informatization white paper. Retrieved from

National Information Society Agency (NIA). (2014). National informatization white paper. Retrieved from

North, D. (1990). Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. New York: Cambridge University Press.

North, D. (1991). Institutions. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5(1), 97–112.