Report: Broadband cost in China 124 times that of South Korea

14:18, August 10, 2010      

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The charges of China's major information products and services remain high relative to average incomes, which will seriously affect the spread of information technology and become a great stumbling block to the rapid development of information society, according to a report recently released by the State Information Center.

The report titled "China Information and Society Development Report 2010" said that China's current rate of Internet access is far below the world standard for broadband, and if one considers the average speed of Internet available in China, the cost is much higher.

According to the statistics, China's average Internet access speed was about 1.8 Mbps in 2008, much lower than Japan's 63 Mbps, South Korea's 40 Mbps and Hong Kong's 20 Mbps.

However, it took nearly 84 yuan (about 12.4 U.S. dollars) each month on average for the broadband user to access the Internet in China, which means users must pay 46.6 yuan (about 6.7 U.S. dollars) for 1 Mbps every month. The figure equals 18 times of South Korea's 0.37 US dollars and Japan’s 0.13 US dollars.

The national income per capita in South Korea is 6.9 times of China's in 2008. Considering the income gap between the two countries, China’s broadband charges would amount to 124 times South Korea's, according to the report.

In addition, the report takes Shanghai's newly-launched 10 Mbps broadband service, which costs 259 yuan each month as an example, and said the fees equal to 11 percent of the disposable income of urban residents and 25 percent of rural residents of Shanghai, 18 percent and 60 percent separately nationwide. So it holds that China’s current charges of broadband service are obviously high relative to family income.

The report also said that such high charges will seriously affect the spread and application of new technology.

By Zhao Chenyan, People's Daily Online


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