Thai government asks for nationwide broadband network

Thai government asks for nationwide broadband network

The government of Thailand has called on the country’s two state-owned telecoms companies, as well as privately-owned network operators, to back the creation of a new nationwide low-cost broadband project.

Information and communications technology minister Juti Kririksh said the government’s goal is to make broadband internet available to Thai citizens for less than THB200 (around $7) a month. He has asked all Thai telecoms players to put plans to apply for a 3G licence on hold while they focus on playing a part in the broadband initiative. It hopes to persuade all of Thailand’s main telcos, fixed and mobile, to combine their networks into a single nationwide digital superhighway.

Auctions for 3G licences have already been suspended once following a request for clarification of bid terms made to the country’s regulator.

Publicly-owned CAT Telecom, which dominates the market for domestic fixed-line services, said it is reducing rates for consumers and business to help them recover in the wake of Thailand’s recent wave of civil unrest.

“During the political conflict over the last couple of months, Thai people in general suffered, as well as business operators,” said Tanwadee Wongteerarit, senior executive vice president at CAT Telecom. “With the genuine hope of being part of the solution, CAT has launched an alleviating campaign “International Call Promotions to Overcome the Crisis”, offering specially reduced rates for individuals as well as commercial customers to make international calls.”

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