ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Cheap Thai broadband proposed
The goal should be to make broadband internet available for as little as 150 to 200 baht(US$5-$7) a month to as many people as possible in all parts of the country, Juti Kririksh, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) minister said .
Mr Juti made his pitch yesterday at a press conference attended by the heads of TOT Plc and CAT Telecom, saying all parties involved in planning for 3G should now shift their focus to a single broadband network.
He said that third-generation wireless services were only part of the national broadband project to expand high-speed internet services nationwide.
Recently, a Thai court ordered suspension of a 3G licence auction pending clarification of regulatory authority.
The ministry envisions combining the telecom networks of the three state electricity enterprises, TOT and CAT and the top three private mobile operators into a single network national telecom highway.
The goal is to expand broadband network coverage to 80 percent of the population by 2015 and 95 percent in 2020. Monthly fees should be no more than 2 percent of people's incomes or around 150-200 baht, compared with the current service fees of 599 baht a month or 6 percent.
Mr. Juti said his ministry was drafting a master plan to propose to a broadband committee headed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva before submitting it to the cabinet for approval.
To support the broadband project, Mr Juti said the two state telecom enterprises would push their 13-billion-baht next generation network (NGN) project, submarine cable infrastructure, and a 6-billion-baht fibre-to-the-home network expansion to accommodate multimedia data usage.
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