BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua)-- China's information
industry authority plans to expand broadband service to more than 95 percent of
the nation's villages in 2008.
Some of the central and eastern provinces will have all their townships and villages covered by broadband service by the end of this year, according to the Ministry of Information
Telephone service will be expanded further in the
rural areas, the ministry said on Sunday, which vowed a more extensive Internet
connection to the rural areas with better quality.
Of late some 99.5 percent of the country's villages
have access to telephone links, and the broadband connection have reached 92
percent of the villages nationwide.
Last year, 73 million people were added to the
nation's total netizen population. Of the increment, 29.17 million, or 40
percent,lived in rural areas. This brought the number of rural Internet users to
52.62 million at the end of 2007, up 127.7 percent year-on-year. The rate was
much higher than the 38.2 percent for urban areas.
The impressive growth in rural regions was due
largely to government efforts and the robust demand from those areas.
China had 210 million Internet users at the end of
2007 and its online population is on course to become the world's largest at the
beginning of this year.
China had so far about 122 million broadband users,
ranking top among the world.