Thailand's government and regulator will soon be ready to launch their national broadband project, and have set a goal of providing connections to all 70,000 villages in the nation this year.
Regulator NBTC and the ICT ministry have allocated an initial budget for the project of 38 billion baht ($1.05 billion), the Nationreported.
Of this, 20 billion baht will be provided by the ICT ministry and taken from the recent windfall received due to the high bid prices of the recent 4G spectrum auctions. The remaining 18 billion baht will be taken from the NBTC's universal service obligation (USO) fund.
The network will consist of both wireless and fixed line broadband access points. Another priority will be improving service quality and connection speed in the 27,000 villages currently covered.
The ministry plans to initially focus on implementing fixed and wireless broadband access in 40,000 villages and implementing a new internet gateway.
Over the next five years the network will then be extended to key locations including public health centers, schools and government premises over the next five years.