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Rumor: Second-Round Convergence Trial Cities Still in Debate

Economic Observer, 10/17/11

China's major telecom and cable TV operators have submitted a plan to the State Council to conduct the second round of national network convergence trials in provincial capitals, according to an industry source, but have yet to agree on which specific cities to include. Earlier rumors claimed the trials would expand to the capitals of all provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities, but according to the source this plan would favor the telecom operators since broadband infrastructure is comparatively up-to-date in these cities and prices are lower. But as cable TV infrastructure is not always on par with broadband in some cities, China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) will push only for cities where both have relatively similar capabilities. So far, both sides have agreed that Tianjin and Chongqing should be in the second batch of cities.

The State Council reportedly aims to release the list of second-round trial cities by the end of this year.

Keywords: regulation convergence telecom television cable TV SARFT State Council

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