Chinese TV network operators may provide broadband services directly by the end of this year, which will break the monopoly of telecommunications operators and inject some competition in the broadband market.
The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television will form a state-level company with investment from TV network operators.
The firm is likely to get a broadband service license by the end of this year, the 21st Century Business Herald reported yesterday, citing an unidentified source in the administration.
The company will then be the country's fourth telecom carrier to operate a broadband network following China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile. China has targeted 250 million broadband users by the end of 2015, a jump of 60 percent from now, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The TV network operators are now not permitted to operate basic telecom services like Internet access without cooperating with telecom carriers.
Consumers will gain from the competition in the broadband service market, which are set to improve with faster speed and lower prices, according to observers.
By the end of the fourth quarter, the average broadband speed on China's mainland was 1.4 megabits per second, one-15th of South Korea's and one-10th the speed in Japan and Hong Kong, according to a recent report of Akamai, a US-based research firm.
The average cost of a 1-megabyte-per-second bandwidth on the mainland is four times the equivalent price in the United States and more than 400 times that of Hong Kong's.