China Telecom, the country’s state-owned telecommunications operator, plans to reach 30 million users for its fiber optic broadband service this year, and have the entire country run on fiber optic infrastructure in three years.
Under the Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government will focus heavily on developing the telecommunications infrastructure, with total investments reaching 2 trillion yuan (roughly $300 billion), around 80 percent of which is allocated for broadband development. The big plan? To cover every city in China with the fiber broadband service in three years and convert all copper lines to fiber, China Daily reported.
China Telecom chairman Wang Xiaochu states that Internet infrastructure in China has great potential. The country boasts the world’s largest user base at 457 million customers, but that figure accounts for only 30% of China’s population. Fiber optics would provide those users with speeds of up to 100 Mbps, at prices cheaper than standard DSL connections. Japan and South Korea have already upgraded their networks, but China’s size makes the project especially difficult. When completed, China will have the largest fiber optic network in the world. The company plans to put the superior bandwidth to use by introducing high-definition IPTV, 3D media and encouraging device manufacturers to rely more on cloud computing.
China Telecom will follow the government’s policies to improve infrastructure and cooperate with local authorities to integrate telecommunications, television and Internet networks.