Sichuan province has become China’s first ‘fully optical province,’ the local government announced, with all 21 of its cities completely covered by wholly fibre-optic networks. Having rolled out fibre-optic infrastructure to all of the province’s cities, and its main villages and towns, China Telecom has deactivated and removed the legacy switching equipment and copper lines, Chinese news portal C114 writes. Fibre-based networks now represent 90% of the broadband subscriptions in Sichuan and the average download speed is 37.9Mbps, ranking it first in the country in terms of access speeds.
In a related development China Unicom has signed an agreement with Henan province to completely cover the region with fibre-optic infrastructure. The operator pledged to invest CNY10.2 billion (USD1.6 billion) this year to make the province the country’s first fully fibre-optic province, although China Telecom claimed that title for Sichuan just two days after Unicom and Henan inked their pact. Despite being pipped to the post by Telecom, Unicom will cover all of the province’s cities and 85.2% of its administrative villages. Unicom is also planning to slash its tariffs in the province, with users of its 2Mbps, 4Mbps and 6Mbps plans being upgraded to 8Mbps connections for no extra cost.