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Telephone Service Available for 94 Percent Villages
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By the end of September 2005, telephone service had been extended to 94 percent of China's administrative villages.


An official with the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry (MII) made the announcement Thursday in Chongqing at a national working conference on information technology application.


By the end of this year, 95 percent of Chinese administrative villages will be connected with telephone service, which is the target set by the 10th Five-Year Plan of the Social and Economic Development (2001-2005), the official said.


China is expected to link all households by telephone, including its vast rural areas, by 2020, according to the ministry.


With government efforts to establish a service fund on telecom development, which is aimed at providing basic telecommunications services to all at affordable prices, the goal is expected to be fulfilled by the time, according to MII sources.


Information from the MII said that by the first three quarters of the year, the number of China's phone subscribers had exceeded 720 million -- 377 million cell phone users and 345 million fixed phone line subscribers. Every 100 Chinese people have 26.6 fixed phones averagely and 29.1 cell phones, figures show.


(Xinhua News Agency October 27, 2005)


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