Xi Guohua Calls For Rural Price Cuts

26 Nov 2007

MII vice-minister Xi Guohua, has called for cuts in rural telecom prices, Xinhua reports.

Speaking at a press conference announcing the completion of the Guizhou provincial village telephone project, Xi said development should be guided by the needs of rural villages. Carriers should make great efforts to develop and popularize new services and applications and to tailor prices so that rural users could fully enjoy ICT technologies and services.

Xi said the government s rural telephony and broadband programs were only the early stages in providing practical solutions for rural communications. The next step should be to broaden the provision of government services, such as trade, weather, labor and general information services.

Telecom prices need to genuinely fall, he said, while at the same time governments needed to expand the level of supervision, and to correct behavior by enterprises in pricing, service, or customer care that harmed rural consumers.

Xi said phones were connected in 99.5% of all administrative villages and more than 90% of natural villages with 20 or more households. Four provinces had reached 100% telephone access in natural villages, he said.

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