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China Government Networking The Internet News Technology Your Rights Online

All New Homes In China Must Have Fiber Optic Internet Connections 202

redletterdave writes "Only a small number of U.S. cities can boast fiber optic connections, but in China, it's either fiber or bust. China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has now ordered all newly built residences to install fiber optic connections in any city or county 'where a public fiber optic telecom network is available.' The new standards will take effect starting on April 1, 2013, and residents will be able to choose their own ISP with equal connections to services. The Chinese government reportedly hopes to have 40 million families connected to fiber networks by 2015."
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All New Homes In China Must Have Fiber Optic Internet Connections

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  • by spinkham ( 56603 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @03:12PM (#42560543)

    We have authoritarianism, it just gets its power from corporate lobbing and campaign donations instead.

    NC started a few public fiber in some towns, so Time Warner lobbied and made broadband operating as any other public utility illegal [], ignoring the protests of many local tech businesses and even the FCC [].

  • The lesson is...? (Score:4, Informative)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @04:07PM (#42561257) Journal

    If the point is to point out that a fascist totalitarian state can implement broad policies more efficiently, then that's not news; the Romans understood that since 249BC when they appointed Aulus Atilius Calatinus as dictator. []

    But even the Romans understood that there were likely some unpleasant consequences to be found living in a totalitarian state. But hey, they probably had the best internet access times of anyone in the ancient world, right?

  • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @05:24PM (#42562059) Journal

    I agree with your skepticism. I think the bigger question is what's the politburo is trying to accomplish as a whole--not just with the internet. I think what people have to understand is that every company in China is owned by the communist government--whether covertly or overtly, just look at who founded Huawei for an example (

    Really? Every company? I guess the company I own - of which I am the sole registered owner, and the only person on the bank accounts - is somehow State owned. It's no more State owned than my company in the US, meaning it's my private property until the Government decides I'm either doing something they don't like, or am doing it too successfully and need "their assistance" to make it better. But for now - it's 100% privately held by a foreign national. And there's no problem with that.

  • by zooblethorpe ( 686757 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @05:43PM (#42562271)

    How hard is it to learn Chinese?

    Very [].

    Depends on what you mean by "learn Chinese". If you're only talking about the spoken language, then I'd argue -- from first-hand experience -- that Chinese will be easier in many respects than, say, Japanese or Korean. Just off the top of my head: Chinese is conceptually and grammatically quite similar to English: for simple utterances, like "I go to the store," the words parse almost as-is into Chinese as "I go to store" (only missing the article "the"), but translation into Japanese or Korean requires a major conceptual reworking into "store to go" (where articles are missing, prepositions are postpositions, verbs come at the end, and person is often implied by context). Chinese has no grammatical number or tense or person or gender, and verbs don't conjugate: and anyone, but anyone, who's struggled with "der/die/das", "está/estaba/estuvo", "touchez/touchons/touchent", "mouse/mice" and "goose/geese" but "moose/moose", will find Chinese incredibly easier in this regard.

    Reading the linked article, I really have to say the author comes off as a horrible whinger. Of the nine concrete examples he tries to explain:

    1. a full four are complaints about the writing system (these could all be reduced to one long-winded complaint, and all are irrelevant to the spoken language),
    2. one complains about romanization schemes (again irrelevant to the spoken language, and generally only a real challenge if you start trying to learn different dialects of Chinese, like Taiwanese and Cantonese in addition to Mandarin),
    3. one complains about tonality (at least the author has the sense to realize he's biased on this one),
    4. one complains about a lack of cognates (laughable -- may as well say the same thing about any non-Indo-European language),
    5. one complains about classical Chinese (ridiculously irrelevant -- may as well bitch about Beowulf),
    6. and one complains about different cultural contexts (again, you could say the same about most non-European languages...).

    Basically, he comes across as a whinging, unworldly boob.

    Even allowing for writing system issues, Japanese uses several thousand Chinese characters, with the added bonus that many of them have multiple, often quite different, readings, depending on the context. Imagine if the prefix "pre" was sometimes read as "fore" in some words, "pre" in others, and "front" in yet other words, but was always spelled the same. Chinese occasionally does that, but nowhere near as often, or as complicatedly, as Japanese.

    Japanese itself has at least three romanization schemes that I commonly run into: Hepburn [], which most of us in the US will see and recognize as romaji (closest to "phonetic" spelling from an American English perspective); Kunrei [], which the Japanese government uses on public signage in Japan to help foreigners (which has oddities like "zyo" for the sound spelled "jo" in Hepburn, and pronounced like the common given name "Joe"), and Yale [], which was invented by academics for phonemic accuracy, but is horrid to try to read. So yeah, guess what? Languages not historically written in the Latin alphabet, and that have sounds not found in European languages, are a bitch to romanize. Have a look at the wild variations of Latin-alphabet spellings for Hebrew or Arabic words some day.

    Tonality? Even English has tonality, after a fashion. Try enunciating the difference between "record", the thing, and "record", the action, without changing your tone. Sure, Chinese has a lot more of it, and the truly tone-deaf must first learn to

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.