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China opens broadband market to private firms in more cities

Updated: Sep 23,2015 8:38 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Private companies in 44 more pilot cities will be allowed to run broadband access network businesses, an industry once largely monopolized by State-run firms.

Orderly competition is necessary to improve the quality of broadband network services and lower the prices, said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Sept 23.

The ministry vowed to give full play to private capital’s innovative power and continue to expand the number of cities that allow private firms to operate broadband businesses.

The MIIT published a guideline on opening the broadband market to private capital last December, which allowed a pilot group of 16 cities to encourage private firms to enter the business starting in March.

Private firms in the 44 additional cities may apply to provincial information and communication ministries to operate their businesses.

China’s cabinet, the State Council, floated the “Broadband China” strategy in August 2013 with the aim of boosting information consumption and expanding broadband coverage across the country, as well as establishing city-wide and 4G networks.

The number of fixed broadband users in China reached 208 million in July, MIIT’s official data showed earlier.