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| China to Lower Telecom Fees
BEIJING (December 30) -- China plans to significantly lower telecommunications
service fees, according to a joint hearing held in Beijing Dec. 30 by
the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) and the State Development
|According to a news release from the two-day hearing, the MII has put
forward a plan to lower fees for leased telephone lines and international
telephone calls, but increase fees for local calls and postal services.
As a result, the general level of overall charges for telecommunication
and postal services will drop significantly, the news release said.
The public hearing was the first one held by the MII since it was set
up in March 1998. Among the more than 50 participants at the hearing
were representatives from users, operators, government institutes, non-government
communities, provincial price and post and telecommunications administrations,
and economists and other experts.
"This hearing is a very positive trial," an MII official said, adding
that it's purpose is to upgrade the payment system of China's post and
telecommunications industry to international standards.
China has repeatedly adjusted this payment system over the past few years,
and in December 1996 it lowered the fees for telephone installation,
leased lines and international telephone calls and integrated fee scales
for long distance calls within the country. At the same time, fees for
postal services and local telephone calls have been raised.
The MII will amend the fee adjustment plan after the hearing, and hand
it's decision over to the State Council for approval in the near future.
(Xinhua News Agency)
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