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Guideline to improve Internet speed, lower prices

Updated: May 20,2015 3:51 PM

The State Council issued a guideline on May 20 aimed at cutting prices for Internet services and boosting Internet speeds.

Recent years have seen great development of broadband access since the government launched the “Broadband China” strategy, the guideline said.

It also said that “there is still a huge gap between China’s network speed and international standards as well as the expectations of the Chinese people. There are also issues such as high network fees and unbalanced development in rural and urban areas — and limited quality of services.”

In order to address the issues, the guideline stipulates:

Measures will be carried out to accelerate the construction of fiber-optic networks and 4G networks. Over 430 billion yuan will be invested this year, and at least another 700 billion yuan will be invested between 2016 and 2017. Over 80 million households and 10-thousand villages will be covered by fiber-optic networks this year, and some 14-thousand villages will be covered by broadband.

By the end of the year, 1.3 million 4G network base stations will be built and there will be over 300 million 4G subscribers.

By the end of 2017, all households in locations above prefecture level will have access to 100 Mbps fiber-optic networks, over 80 percent of villages will be covered by fiber-optic networks, all cities and villages will be covered by 4G networks, and broadband speeds in municipalities and provincial capitals will reach 30 Mbps.

Broadband speeds in other cities will reach 20 Mbps — and mobile broadband coverage will attain the level of moderately developed countries.

The government will push telecommunications companies to lower the fees they charge for Internet access and it will aim to bring down the average fees charged for mobile data and fixed broadband.

The government encourages innovation concerning new technologies, new products and new business models in the telecommunications sector with a special focus on the development of Internet Plus, cloud computing, Internet of Things and big data.

In 2015, the government will gradually allow more private capital to enter the telecommunications industry, and over 100 enterprises will provide broadband services by the end of the year. Additionally, mobile communication resale business will be allowed around China by the end of next year.

Advanced supervision and high-level public services are required, with further administrative streamlining, better policy support, and more sophisticated network standards.