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January 20, 2011

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The slowest Internet in China ...

FINDING your Internet slow? Not only is access much slower on the Chinese mainland than the world average, but Shanghai has the slowest Internet speeds in China, according to an industry report issued yesterday.

Last year, China's Internet access speed was 100.9 kilobits a second (kb/s) on average, less than half the global average of 230.4kb/s.

Central Henan Province ranked No. 1 with an Internet speed of 131.2kb/s while Shanghai was in last position at 73.9kb/s, according to the China Internet Network Information Center report.

The center's survey, which covered 60,000 people nationwide, found that Henan, Hunan and Hebei provinces had the fastest access while Shanghai, Jiangsu Province and the Tibet Autonomous Region were the slowest.

Beijing ranked 13th in the list of 31 provinces, autonomous regions and cities.

Internet speed is decided by factors such as network infrastructure, network quality, user base and device type.

But it was still difficult to tell why Shanghai's Internet speed was lagging behind other provinces, experts said.

China Telecom, the major provider of broadband services for more than 3 million families in Shanghai, declined to comment on the survey yesterday.

The carrier announced previously that it had started to upgrade its broadband bandwidth for home users by fourfold to 8 megabits per second from January. By the end of 2012, Shanghai would have the fastest broadband connections nationwide, it said.

Apart from broadband speed, users often complain about the price of local broadband services. At the ongoing session of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, members suggested the carrier cut broadband charges in Shanghai.

The cost of broadband in the city was 10 percent of the city's minimum wage and had become too high for people on low incomes, the political advisers heard.

According to an industry estimate, the average monthly spend for Chinese households on broadband was 46.6 yuan (US$7.06) in 2008. Based on average monthly incomes in each country, that was 18 times the price paid in South Korea and 51.5 times that of Japan.



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