China is opening its broadband market to private operators in more cities. Private companies in 44 additional pilot cities can now offer broadband access, an industry once largely monopolized by state-owned firms, Xinhua news agency reports. According to the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), orderly competition is necessary to improve the quality of broadband network services and lower the prices.
The ministry plans to expand the number of cities that allow private firms to operate broadband businesses. The ministry published a guideline on opening the broadband market to private capital in December 2014. The initiative enabled a pilot group of 16 cities to encourage private firms to enter the business starting beginning with March 2015.
Private companies in 44 additional cities can now apply to provincial information and communication ministries to launch broadband services.