More Chinese netizens have access to faster Internet from their homes, according to latest figures.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China just held a webinar in Beijing covering the growth of broadband services. During the meeting, Miao Wei, minister of MIIT, said that in 2012, China's fiber to the home project entered over 49 million new families' homes, reaching a total number of 94 million total households now covered.
At the same time, the number of fixed broadband Internet users increased by 25.1 million to a total of 175 million. The country also added 19,000 broadband sites in rural areas to expand the broadband popularization. The ratio of broadband users using a bandwidth of 4M or above increased by 23% to now reach over 63%.
Over the past 12 months, many cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou implemented free bandwidth upgrade projects. For example, China Unicom's broadband users in Beijing who formerly use a 2M bandwidth enjoyed the upgrade to 4M for free. Meanwhile, the broadband fee was indirectly lowered by binding the broadband with mobile phone services. Some small- and medium-sized Internet service providers even launched lower service fee options to compete with mainstream providers.
According to Miao, the average broadband fee decreased by over 30% in 2012, which improved the cost effectiveness of broadband services in China.
In 2013, MIIT will launch a broadband special campaign, aiming to add 35 million fiber to the home users; over 25 million fixed broadband Internet users; and 18,000 rural broadband sites. Moreover, the government ministry will focus on broadband access or upgrades for 5,000 schools in poor rural areas, and it expects to raise the ratio of 4M or above bandwidth users to over 70%.