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Government Starts Screening Optic Fibre Networks

Illegal construction of optic fibre networks that have not received government approval must stop at once, said a document that was jointly issued Thursday by the Ministry of Information Industry and the State Development Planning Commission.

The government has started to check up on the country's long distance optic fibre network resources as many enterprises have started constructing networks attracted by assumed profits, said the document.

Optic fibre networks, which can deliver data, pictures, videos and audio signals at a much higher speeds than the present telephone lines, have reported rapid growth in the country.

Many companies, including licensed telecom firms and non-telecom firms, have invested heavily in the construction of optic fibre networks in the hope of gaining more of the broadband communication market.

Illegal construction that has gone ahead without government approval has caused the overlapping of networks and much duplication, wasting large sums of money and hurting the government's attempts at regulation.

Companies that are not licensed to operate basic telecom businesses but have network resources must report their resource situation to the two ministries within 30 days.

The Ministry of Information Industry will issue licences to telecom operators for network leasing and sales soon, to ensure an orderly competitive environment, it said.

Licence holders will be able to lease and sell network bandwidths, wavelengths and optic fibre networks.

They will also be able to buy illegal network resources that are confiscated by the two ministries.

Overseas capital, including that from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, is still banned from directly investing in telecom network construction and operation before China enters the World Trade Organization.

(China Daily 04/06/2001)

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