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China pledges faster and cheaper Internet

Updated: May 15,2015 6:42 PM     Xinhua

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) pledged to elevate the country’s broadband speed and coverage, as well as lower Internet prices on May 15.

By the end of this year, the average broadband speed for users in major municipalities and provincial capitals will be increased to 20 megabytes per second (Mbps) from the current 9 Mbps, said Shang Bing, the MIIT’s deputy minister, and in other urban areas will be improved to 10 Mbps from the current 7 Mbps.

Infrastructure is key to improve the speed.

More than 1.30 million 4G base stations will be built in urban and most of the rural areas by the year end.

The MIIT said by the end of 2017, telecom enterprises will have invested more 1.1 trillion yuan (179.74 billion U.S. dollars) to upgrade China’s Internet infrastructure. Optical broadband speeds of 100 megabytes per second (Mbps) will be offered to almost all the urban families, and average broadband speed will reach 30 Mbps in major cities.

Fair competition is key to reduce fees.

According to Shang, average charges for mobile phone Internet and fixed broadband should be sharply decreased by at least 30 percent from the previous year by the year end.

The MIIT demanded a more open market and stricter monitoring of the telecom market in an effort to offer consumers more services and cheaper prices. Pilot broadband access will be expanded to over 30 cities and 100 enterprises by the year end.