The Data Center of China Internet has recently released a report indicating that most broadband users in China find their internet speed is far slower than the advertised maximum speed given by internet service providers.
The report shows that most of China's broadband users have bandwidths of 2 and 4 mega bytes. Ninety one percent of the 4 mega bytes bandwidth users find that their internet speed is much lower than 400 kilo bytes; the average speed is merely 230 kilo bytes. Users with 2 mega bytes bandwidth are only getting half of that speed.
Internet service providers are not denying it. They have official speed ranges. We consulted one of the largest internet service providers, China Netcom's service line for 4 mega bytes bandwidth speed range.
"The minimum downloading speed limit is 320 kilo bytes per second. Only when it goes below that speed, should we send a maintenance man to your home to fix it. The speed is considered to be normal anywhere above that."
China Telecom has also publicized its 4 mega bytes bandwidth common-seen speed range as being between 307 kilo bytes and 512 kilo bytes on its website.
Xiang Ligang is chief executive officer of CCTIME.com, an information site of telecommunication industry. He says the advertised maximum speed is just a theoretical one.
"The advertised 4 mega bytes per second is hard to reach. There are many things that would slow it down, like internet servers, routers and switches, optical transceivers or cable modems."
Xiang Ligang says similar situations can be found in countries like Britain and America. However, the overall internet speed in China is still very slow by international standards. The China Information Technology Development Bluebook shows that the global average internet speed is 5.6 mega bytes per second; the speed is merely 1.8 in China and that makes China the 71st on a global internet speed rank.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has urged China's internet service providers to upgrade their broad bandwidth to 20 mega bytes in urban areas and reduce internet fees by 2015.
Xiang Ligang says the focus should be making the speed faster.
"The most important thing is to bring about the transformation from ADSL to FTTH or Fiber To The Home technology. Individual fiber connections for each home will largely reduce transmission congestion, thus allowing for much faster speed."
Professor Lu Benfu from the Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences agrees. He says that the internet service providers should start the fiber installation work in time.
"Although the installation will cost them a huge amount of money, costs shouldn't be passed on to their users. It's government's responsibility to issue relevant preferential policies for service providers."
Professor Lu says only when the internet speed actually reaches 2 mega bytes per second can it really be qualified as broadband. He hopes this will happen by 2015. He adds that the internet should be a public service instead of some kind of resource in the future. Everyone should have equal rights to access information on the internet with low-priced broadband.
For CRI, I'm Wang Wei.