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Researchers Foresee China Broadband Audience Surge
Oct 2002
LONDON, Oct. 23 -- China's broadband Internet audience will grow by nearly 500 percent during 2002, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

In a report released to subscribers to its Broadband Entertainment Strategies service, the firm identifies growing opportunities for foreign investors, as well as the challenges involved in penetrating a rapidly growing, but immature, industry.

The report, "Eyeing Up the Promised Land: China's Emerging Broadband Markets", predicts that 2.9 million Chinese households will subscribe to broadband Internet services by the end of 2002. Nearly three-quarters of these households will use a DSL provider, such as China Telecom. Fiber-to-the-home services have also become popular in densely populated areas in the form of Metropolitan Area Networks. Residential cable modem services, however, are currently limited by regulatory restrictions. Digital cable TV will struggle in the early years because of high prices, the report said.

"The Chinese government is determined to position China as a world leader in broadband adoption," said Nick Griffiths, Broadband Entertainment Strategies service director at Strategy Analytics. "While the rural population is unlikely to benefit, there are signs that broadband connections will soon become the norm for the urban community."

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