Starting today, U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea can no longer use U.S.-based VoIP services to phone home.
Now, they will have to use a South Korean telco such as Korea Telecom Corp., Hanaro Telecom Inc. or LG Dacom Corp. These soldiers must obtain a South Korean local number as well.
This has come about after a June 2006 statement by some of South Korea's major Internet service providers that they would block phone calls over the Internet over connections from providers not registered under the Korean Telecommunications Business Act. But after U.S. Forces Korea Commander General Burwell Baxter Bell said the move would impact service members' quality of life, the companies agreed to delay enforcing the act until June 1, 2007.Now, I am going to control my anger here.
If it weren't for our dedicated yet underpaid forces in South Korea, Kim Jung-Il and those maniacs in North Korea likely would have overran the south years ago. If that had happened, there wouldn't be telcos such as Korea Telecom Corp., Hanaro Telecom Inc. as well as LG Dacom Corp. And the fat cats that run these companies might be in exile, or worse.
So, South Korea, is it worth denying the men and women who are protecting you- and have done so for more than 55 years- the right to call home cheaply? Just so that your already-wealthy telcos can make an extra few bucks?