Premier Li wants lower Internet fees, better speed

Updated: 2015-04-15 14:15


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Premier Li wants lower Internet fees, better speed

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang presides over a symposium on current economic situation in Beijing, capital of China, April 14, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang has called for reduction in the fee of cellphone data plan on Tuesday. He was speaking at a symposium organized to discuss the current economic situation.

The blue-collar workers with professional skills need to take advantage of mobile Internet to pass their expertise to more people, said Ding Lei, founder and CEO of Netease Inc, at the event.

"But currently our cellular fee is not cheap which could be a barrier for people to fully utilize the advantages of the Internet," he added.

The reduction in fee has a high relevance to the development of information infrastructure.

China wants to reinforce the construction of the communication infrastructure and increase the network bandwidth amid the rapid rise in Internet traffic flow.

Premier Li said China's network bandwidth falls far behind 80 countries in the world, according to the assessment of International Telecommunication Union, which has a high potential to be improved.

Li made a similar statement a month ago when he said that he had noticed during his trips abroad that the broadband in major cities of some developing countries was even faster than Beijing's.

China's telecom operators have long been blamed for providing slow speed and charging higher fees.

So far, there are three operators in China-- China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

In 2012, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) had found after an investigation that China Telecom and China Unicom had failed to fully integrate their networks, causing a lack of competition, increased access costs and slow Internet.

The telecom providers tried to blame WeChat, a social networking app produced by Tencent, for taking up bandwidth and causing data traffic jam and imposed usage fees in 2013.

The public reacted strongly against it, complaining about operators' poor service and hidden charges, and the unfair fees they were trying to impose.

China has the largest number of Internet users, with 648 million having Internet access at the end of last year, according to China Internet Network Information Center.

Internet use in China more than doubled in five years, reaching 46.9 percent of the population.

The number of mobile Internet users reached 527 million and, for the first time, mobiles surpassed PC as the primacy access point to the Internet.

However, China's average broadband speed only ranks 71st in the world. The average cost is three to four times the average level of developed countries, said a 2011 report released by the Advisory Committee for State Information, an advisory body to the government.