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Premier: Cut internet costs to boost economy

Updated: Apr 6,2018 8:17 PM

Reducing mobile internet service costs will not only benefit people, but also accelerate the country’s economic upgrades, Premier Li Keqiang said during a State Council executive meeting on April 4.

According to the meeting, internet data roaming charges will be canceled starting July 1, the cost of mobile internet services and household broadband will be cut by 30 percent, and internet services for small and medium-sized enterprises will be reduced by 10 to 15 percent. More than that, roaming charges for international as well as Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan mobile internet use will further decrease.

In addition, more concrete measures will be taken, such as promoting high-speed broadband to reach more urban and rural areas, and making 98 percent of villages accessible through fiber optics by the end of this year.

Providing internet access will be encouraged on airplanes, while more free Wi-Fi networks will be installed in hotels, airports and railway stations.

Improving mobile internet service and reducing its costs have been frequent topics of the State Council executive meetings, and they were also included in the Government Work Report for two consecutive years.

An official said at the meeting that information consumption in 2017 reached 4.5 trillion yuan ($713 billion).

Premier Li hailed the efforts made by telecom enterprises and relative authorities in improving internet service, which supports economic growth.

He stressed the importance of the telecommunication industry for the development of the whole country, calling it a vanguard for the new technological revolution. “The core of the Made in China 2025 strategy lies in intelligent manufacturing, which is based on telecommunication,” Premier Li said, calling for practitioners in the industry to have a sense of mission.