Thai telcos fear excessive costs from new cable policy

10 Apr 2019

Thai operators have expressed concerns over a new policy requiring all existing overhead telecom and broadcasting cables in Bangkok to be moved underground within two years.

The Telecommunications Association of Thailand (TCT), the industry body representing Thailand's major operators, has argued that the policy will impose excessive costs on telecommunications service providers and may prove to be impractical, the Bangkok Post reported.

The association is urging the government to subsidize construction costs for the underground pipelines that would hold the currently overhead cables, and has suggested that operators would be willing to pay “reasonable” rental fees for this passive infrastructure.

But as it stands, the association has stated that it is concerned that operators would be required to pay rental fees for underground pipelines that are up to 100 times higher than the current price paid for using overhead poles – nearly 20,000 baht per kilometer per month, compared to around 200 to 300 baht for per kilometer per month for overhead poles.

Meanwhile the association has also proposed an alternative model involving using a combination of underground pipes and overhead poles that in some cases could use tubing that can group all cables together.

This would help the government achieve its goal of helping to beautify the city while being a more affordable option to locating all cables underground.

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