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Faster Internet to reach more parts of China


13:34, April 18, 2013

BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhua) -- More urban families and rural schools will have access to faster Internet services in 2013, as the government is making more efforts to narrow the "digital gap."

Some 18,000 rural villages and 5,000 schools in impoverished regions will enjoy broadband or faster Internet service this year, according to an annual plan released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and seven other ministries on Wednesday.

Telecommunications and IT companies should upgrade infrastructure and fulfill their social responsibility by investing more resources in rural and impoverished areas, MIIT said.

The government will build 180,000 base stations this year to provide 3G mobile Internet service to 100 million users. Broadband Internet services will reach an additional 25 million people and 70 percent of broadband subscribers will have access to speeds of 4M or faster.

The government also hopes to expand the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service, an integrated family broadband system, to at least 3,500 additional households this year, according to the plan.

FTTH refers to a form of fiber-optic communication delivery that reaches one living or working space. The fiber extends from a central office to the subscriber's living or working area.

By the end of January, the number of broadband users in China stood at 177.37 million, while 3G users reached 245.88 million.

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