Business / Gadgets

China to increase broadband coverage in western region

By Gao Yuan ( Updated: 2014-03-21 16:26

China will speed up the construction of broadband and fourth-generation networks in less-developed western provinces this year, said Miao Wei, chief of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Miao urged local governments, especially those in the western area, to support the broadband project by issuing favorable policies and subsidizing the infrastructure establishment in rural areas.

The MIIT, the regulatory body of the information technology sector in China, said private capital will play "the critical role" in building a nationwide broadband network in the future, indicating less government interference.

"We strongly encourage and will safeguard healthy competition in the broadband and 4G markets," said Miao, adding the nation's Big Three telecom carriers should take more social responsibility by adding broadband coverage in the less-profitable inland regions.

The nation had 192 million broadband users by February. Nearly a quarter of users are connected to 8 mega bytes per second networks, according to MIIT.

The MIIT also encouraged the establishment of ultra high-speed Internet networks in developed provinces.

The average connection speed for ultra high speed Internet could reach 100 mega bytes per second, according to Miao.

The central government put the broadband project under the spotlight in 2014 in a bid to boost information consumption.

The State Council, China's cabinet, said the broadband network is a strategically important resource — similar to the electric grid and oil supply networks.

"The industry should pay close attention to Internet security while racing for larger coverage," Miao said.

Wu Hequan, head of the Broadband Development Alliance and a well known Internet security expert, said China's ambitious Internet development plan is set to boost the user number of faster Web networks and will help lift the innovation and coverage of new technologies, such as Internet Protocol version 6, the next-generation Web location system.

This is the second year China has launched such a project.

China to increase broadband coverage in western region China to increase broadband coverage in western region

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