BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Broadband now connects 91 percent of Chinese village and more than 5,000 schools in remote, generally impoverished, settlements should be online within the year.
Coverage has increased from 88 percent at the beginning of 2013 with 19,000 more villages being caputred in net this year, according to the Industry and Information Technology Ministry.
The three major telecom operators, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, have invested more than 6 billion yuan (almost a billion U.S. dollars) this year in villages.
In terms of telephones, 95.6 percent of villages with at least 20 households now have coverage, up from 95.2 percent at the start of 2013.
Chinese Internet users hit 604 million as of the end of September this year, according to the State Internet Information Office.