URUMQI, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The fiber optic network will reach more poverty-stricken villages in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region this year, according to the regional communications administration.
Xinjiang received central government funding of 1.07 billion yuan (170 million U.S. dollars) and has gained businesses' funding of another 2 billion yuan since 2016 to help install fiber optic cables in the region's rural areas.
By the end of 2017, more than 2,800 villages had access to the fiber optic network. Another 2,746 villages will be covered this year, including 1,962 villages in deep poverty, the administration said.
The installation of broadband Internet will increase Internet speeds to 12 megabits per second and allow villagers to shop on e-commerce platforms and watch HD video.
In 2016, China began the huge task of installing fiber optic technology in more than 100,000 villages across the country, including 31,000 impoverished villages.
The campaign was financed through 30 billion yuan in public and private sector funding.