China opens new golden bridge internet connection

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BEIJING -- China has formally integrated its Golden Bridge Network (CGBN) with the Internet, allowing expanded communication between China and the outside world.

The Ministry of Electronics Industry will soon issue regulations on the management of CGBN's Internet serve and the fees to be charged from users. Jitong Communications Co Ltd of Beijing is the only government-designed operator of CGBN, said Zhang Qi, a ministry spokeswoman.

The Golden Bridge Project provides a computerized national public economic information program. CGBN has established a satellite telecommunication system linking 24 provinces, municipalities and regions. CGBN will start to provide free- of-charge services, including E-Mail, file transfer protocol, news, Telnet, Gopher, Data Bank, training and education, for institutions and individuals during several months of trial operation. The network's administrative and operational centre will be based in Beijing. CGBN is also linked with the DDN (digital data network) at a transmitting speed of 256 kilobits per second.

The move coincides with newspaper reports that China has quietly blocked access to as many as 100 sites on the World Wide Web in an attempt to increase central control over culture and to avoid the corruption of social values.

China now has three public networks through which individuals and institutions can access the Internet. They are ChinaNet, operated by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and other two networks operated separately by the China Education Commission and the China Academy of Sciences.

Copyright September 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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