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China Further Expands Telephone, Internet Networks in Rural Areas

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China further expanded its telephone and Internet coverage in remote regions in 2009, as part of the government's efforts to better serve people in such areas.

By the end of 2009, telephone service covered 99.86 percent of the country's administrative villages, while internet service covered 91.5 percent of these villages, said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China (MIIT).

The country's three carriers, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, had raised 10.3 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) to help build telephone and internet networks in China's out-of-the-way mountainous regions and plateau areas in 2009.

In 2009, over 27,000 more villages got connected to the telephone networks, and 4,228 more towns and administrative villages gained access to the internet.

In 2008, 98 percent of the country's towns and 89 percent of its administrative villages were connected to the internet.

(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2010)