TOT to take charge of Thai rural broadband project

telecomasia.net

Thai state-owned operator TOT has been instructed to go it alone in a project to build a national broadband network connecting 30,000 villages across the nation.

TOT will take sole responsibility the project to bring broadband to the majority of Thailand's villages that currently lack broadband connectivity, the Bangkok Post reported.

Initially the government had planned to have TOT and CAT Telecom jointly oversee the 15 billion baht ($427.5 million) project, but the ICT ministry decided that given TOT should take control of the project due to its existing extensive infrastructure.

CAT has been told to focus on further investment in international internet gateway infrastructure to support the government's policy of promoting Thailand as a digital hub for the Asean region.

Construction of the network is expected to be complete by May 2017. The state will use the network to provide free broadband connectivity in public places in all villages, while TOT plans to offer at least 20Mbps plans with affordable tariffs.

The national broadband project is expected to be partly funded from private sector investments. It forms part of the government's five year master plan that aims to improve Thailand's telecom infrastructure to lift the minimum standard for broadband speed across the nation.

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