YINCHUAN, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The fiber optic network in China now covers more than 82 percent of the country's rural villages, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), which aims to raise coverage to 90 percent in the second half of 2017.
As of November 2016, more than 61 million rural households had access to the fiber optic network, an impressive 90 percent increase from the previous year, said MIIT general engineer Zhang Feng at a ministerial workshop held in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region on Friday.
In 2016, China began the huge task of installing fiber optic in more than 100,000 villages across the country, including 31,000 villages considered in poor conditions.
The campaign was financed by 30 billion yuan (4.4 billion U.S. dollars) of public and private sector funding.
The ministry will install fiber optics in 30,000 more villages this year.
The installation of broadband Internet will allow villagers to access e-commerce, online healthcare, online education, and online agriculture, Zhang said.