Internet reaches 80% of Tibet’s villages

Latest data show more than 80 percent of villages in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region have access to the Internet.

That’s an increase of nearly 20 percent compared with five years ago.

The length of optical cable has doubled in five years to reach 114,000 kilometers.

About 1.87 million households, or 59 percent of the total, are able to use the Internet.

The plateau region is known as “the roof of the world” because its average altitude is over 4,000 meters. Building telecommunications infrastructure is difficult and costly.

Telecom operators lowered Internet costs in Tibet in 2015, boosting e-commerce.

The remote Ngari Prefecture is one of the most sparsely populated places in the world. People in the prefecture’s Tsochen County started doing e-commerce in 2014, to sell Tibetan incense, beef and cashmere products.

The region will expand its 4G network in 2016.

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