The director of China Telecom’s Technology Commission, Wei Leping, claimed the country’s average broadband speed is 5.1Mb/s, not 3.4Mb/s as stated by Akamai, putting China in 58th place worldwide, not 82nd.

Wei argued that the speed calculated by foreign firms doesn’t represent the real broadband speed in China since they can only test the export rate of the broadband, reported. “Due to the lack of international internet interfaces in China and non-technical reasons, the export rates of China’s international broadband are much lower than the domestic speed,” he said.

The Broadband Forum took 100,000 tests last year, which showed an average broadband speed of 5.1Mb/s, he said at an optical network seminar.

And in response to criticism that broadband tariffs are too high, he said that the average price of broadband is only about CNY40 (about $6.50), which puts China among the list of low broadband tariff countries. But he acknowledged that prices are higher in large cities, with rates of about CNY46, said.

Wei’s remarks come after Premier Li Keqiang complained in April that China’s broadband networks were expensive and slow, citing the 82nd ranking by Akamai. After the telecoms regulator pledged to push industry players to reduce costs and improve speeds, the country’s three mobile operators committed in May to cutting data prices by 20-40 per cent, as well as improving network speeds.

China’s State Council, the country’s cabinet, later said the government will spend CNY1.13 trillion ($182 billion) over the next three years to improve broadband access and increase speeds as the nation pushes towards a more service-based economy to fuel growth.