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Super-fast Internet by 2012

ALMOST every household in Shanghai will be able to access upgraded fixed-line broadband services 50 times faster than current speeds within three years, China Telecom's Shanghai branch said yesterday.

The city's biggest fixed-line phone carrier, which plans to invest 26 billion yuan (US$3.8 billion) in Shanghai within the next two years, will also improve broadband networks to the city's industrial zones.

"Shanghai Telecom's improved broadband services are a necessary condition for the city to establish itself as an international finance and shipping center," said Zhang Weihua, Shanghai Telecom's general manager.

This year more than 750,000 families will have access to fiber optic lines with speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, compared with current speeds of only one or two Mbps, according to the Metro Optical Network plan.

Next year, about 1.5 million families will have access to fiber optic lines and over 3 million in 2011. Currently, 3.6 million local families are broadband users, according to Shanghai Telecom.

The MONET plan will attract total investment of about 25 billion to 30 billion yuan from related industries such as chip and network equipment sectors.

Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp are involved in the plan.

Meanwhile, Shanghai Telecom will sign agreements with industry zones to upgrade their networks, provide digitized management systems, monitoring and security systems and expanded Internet lines. Yesterday, Shanghai Telecom signed a deal to build a digitized industrial zone for Zhangjiang High-tech Park.



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