While ultra-fast maglev trains and enormous alien hunters are cool and all, obviously what China could really use is some faster internet.
And hold on to your hats, because our prayers may just be answered soon! The Shanghai city government has recently signed a deal with China Telecom, the country’s largest broadband provider, that will turn Shanghai into a national model for internet speed with (unnecessarily fast) 1 gigabits per second (Gbps) service in residential neighborhoods by 2018.
In this effort, China Telecom will invest 27 billion yuan ($4 billion) into the city, Shanghai Daily reports. It’s all part of the Internet Plus initiatives that China is undertaking as part of the latest Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).
And apparently, the internet revolution has already begun. By the end of this year, 269 residential areas in Shanghai will be covered by 1 Gbps connections. Furthermore, Shanghai Telecom broadband users will see their average bandwidth double to 100 megabits per second next year (as promised in 2011), allowing you to download a 2-gigabyte movie in just 16 seconds.
Of course, some restrictions still apply — namely the Great Firewall, which can make accessing some foreign sites anywhere from aggravating to impossible at times, even with a VPN.
According to a global study in June, China has the most internet users in the world, but the world’s 91st fastest internet speed — averaging only 9.46 Mbps. 1-gig internet spreading around the country would presumably help with that ranking.