China has already achieved most of its broadband development goals for 2015, Chen Jiachun, the deputy director of information and communication development at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), was quoted as saying. C114 writes that the targets included signing up 40 million new fibre-optic broadband subscribers and 200 million LTE users, and increasing the proportion of customers utilising download speeds of at least 8Mbps to 55%. Coverage of fibre-optic networks, meanwhile, was scheduled to be rolled out to 80 million more homes and businesses, whilst 600,000 new base stations were also lined up.
Commenting on the progress, the official explained that 94 million broadband subscribers used fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections at end-July – an increase of 75% year-on-year – whilst the proportion of 8Mbps connections passed hit the 56% mark at that date. In terms of infrastructure, by the end of June 2015 9.7 million kilometres of fibre-optic cabling had been installed, including five terrestrial cables connecting to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, and three international submarine cable routes. Mr Jiachun also noted that the rapid pace of the broadband infrastructure development in China was helping to promote the country’s booming e-commerce sector, with Lu Wei, the director of China’s national information office, adding that the e-commerce transactions exceeded CNY16 trillion (USD2.51 trillion) in 2014, up nearly 60% year-on-year.