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KT may face class action lawsuit over internet speed

A banner intends to gather victims of KT’s alleged deceptive internet subscription scheme on class action platform Angry People. (Yonhap)
A banner intends to gather victims of KT’s alleged deceptive internet subscription scheme on class action platform Angry People. (Yonhap)


KT, one of South Korea’s big three telecom carriers, faces a potential class action from gigabit internet service subscribers over allegations that the firm signed onto the plans even those living in areas unequipped with the infrastructure to accommodate the high-speed internet services.

Kim Jin-wook, an attorney at Seoul-based law firm Joowon, announced Wednesday that he is recruiting prospective plaintiffs through a class action platform Angry People.

“According to media reports, there are speculations that telecom carriers intentionally subscribed customers on gigabit internet plans though they are living in regions where gigabit internet is unavailable. If these speculations turn out to be true in a further investigation, telecom carriers should be held legally accountable for deceiving customers with contracts,” the lawyer said.

Before bringing the matter to the court, the KT users would first file a complaint with the Ministry of Science and ICT, requesting its investigation into the allegations, as well as other user complaints over the firm’s 10-gigabit-per-second internet plans, the lawyer said.

Whether to proceed with the class action suit will depend on the findings of the investigations, he added.

KT has recently been embroiled in controversy over internet speeds after ITSub, a YouTuber who once advertised for KT, revealed that the internet connection at his place was set at a maximum of 100 megabits per second -- 100 times slower than the 10Gbps plan he was on.

KT, in an official statement, apologized for the “error,” which it said stemmed from its failure to properly update subscriber information when the YouTuber moved to a new studio. Despite him being a 10Gbps plan subscriber, the service provided to him was that of the 100Mbps plan, it said.

KT further added that the company found 24 more cases similar to ITSub’s, made corrections immediately and would offer due compensation.

The country’s telecommunications regulator the Korea Communications Commission and the Science Ministry are looking into whether the slowing down of internet speeds by KT was intentional.

By Kim Byung-wook (kbw@heraldcorp.com)
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