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Super-fast broadband access by end of year

HALF a million families across all the city's 18 districts and Chongming County will have access to an Internet service 50 to 100 times faster than current speeds this year, said officials from the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission yesterday.

The technology, called 3TNET, has been tried out by 30,000 families in Changning and Jiading districts.

Using the high-performance broadband network, people can access interactive services including high-quality Internet-protocol TV, remote medical and education services, and video-on-demand.

At present, broadband speeds are around one or two megabytes per second, 3TNET's speed is 100Mbps or higher. 3TNET delivers information through fiber optics and requires huge investment on network upgrades, therefore it will be available in new communities first.

In addition to high-speed Internet, local science authorities are also focusing on the development and promotion of light emitting diode technology this year.

The 2010 Shanghai World Expo will make much use of domestically developed LED technology. LED lighting uses up to 70 percent less energy than traditional bulbs.

"LEDs can be used for household lighting as well as in public spaces such as traffic signals and streetlights," said Niu Xiaoming, chief engineer of the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission. "The Expo is the best opportunity to showcase LED technology both inside buildings and in the street."

Niu said the budget for local government investment in science and technology this year is 2 billion yuan (US$292.5 million).

About 30 percent of the budget will be used to support small and medium-sized technology companies.


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