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Expanding internet coverage key to bridge digital divide

By Tan Xinyu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-11-08 22:40
Gao Tongqing, vice-president of China Telecommunications Corporation, delivers a speech at a ministerial forum themed "Bridging the Digital Divide" in Wuzhen, East China's Zhejiang province on Nov 8, which serves as a sub-forum of the fifth World Internet Conference. [Photo by Zou Hong/chinadaily.com.cn]

The digital economy has played an indispensable role to promote balanced development in society and improve people's lives, as many countries' practices showed, Gao Tongqing, vice-president of China Telecommunications Corporation, said on Thursday.

Still, he added that bridging the digital divide has a long way to go, as modern telecommunication is still inaccessible to around 30 percent of the world population, while delivering a speech at a ministerial forum held in East China's river town of Wuzhen, Zhejiang province.

Themed "Bridging the Digital Divide", the forum serves as a sub-forum of the ongoing fifth World Internet Conference, which lasts from Wednesday to Friday. More than 20 speakers from 14 countries, including ministerial officials, heads of telecommunication companies, scholars and experts, discussed topics such as "Digital Divide and Economic Development", "Digital Divide and Information Sharing" , and "Role of International Communication on Bridging Digital Divide".

Gao said that expanding internet coverage must be on top of the agenda for making information services more available to a larger population. He noted his company is capable of bringing fiber broadband to 320 million households and owns 1.3 million base stations throughout China.

Meanwhile, lowering the cost of information is also important, as it enhances telecom enterprises' competitiveness and ability to provide services to more people, Gao added.

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