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Internet speeds to be among Asia’s fastest

    Shanghai currently has the Chinese mainland’s fastest Internet speed and it is expected to be among the fastest broadband speeds in Asia by 2015, the country’s biggest fixed-line operator China Telecom said yesterday.

    China Telecom’s Shanghai branch, which has 2.6 million household subscribers, plans to double broadband bandwidth to 32 megabytes per second (Mbps) by the end of this year with a new wave of network upgrading operations that is due to start in March.

    Bandwidth in Shanghai will hit 50 Mbps by 2015, it said.

    Shanghai is way ahead of the industry regulator’s target to upgrade broadband networks in urban regions to 20 megabytes per second by 2015 on the mainland, triggering a total investment of 500 billion yuan (US$79.4 billion) last year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

    By the end of last year, Shanghai’s average broadband bandwidth reached 16 Mbps, the fastest on the mainland.

    Since 2009, Shanghai’s average broadband bandwidth has jumped 6.9 times, Shanghai Telecom said.

    Shanghai will be among the cities with the fastest Internet in the world by the end of this year, said Wu Dongli, Shanghai Telecom’s vice general manager.

    Hong Kong currently ranks No. 1 in the Asia-Pacific in broadband bandwidth of 44.4 Mbps, followed by Singapore’s 39.3 Mbps and Japan’s 38 Mbps, according to Net Index.

    China’s broadband market is dominated by China Telecom and China Unicom, which have been criticized as providing “fake broadband” because of low speeds and high prices.

    Net surfers have complained about broadband speed, with industry watchers questioning the real speed available.

    In December 2011, Beijing-based Data Center of China Internet said 91 percent of users experienced broadband speeds less than 400 kilobits per second by the third quarter of 2011.

    The average cost of 1 megabyte per second bandwidth on China’s mainland was four times the cost in the US and over 400 times that of Hong Kong.