Thailand was one of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) prize winners during the WSIS Forum in Geneva this year. Thailand won the WSIS prize in the category of “information and communication infrastructure” for its Village Broadband Internet project (Net Pracharat). Net Pracharat is a national fixed broadband network providing free public Wi-Fi hotspots to connect remote/non-commercialize areas.
Promoting inclusive broadband through Village Broadband Internet Project (Net Pracharat) in Thailand
The Village Broadband Internet Project (Net Pracharat) aims to strengthen the national broadband network and provide affordable high-speed Internet access to all villages in Thailand by 2019. The government is investing in building high-speed Internet networks, using fiber optic cables, in remote villages that lack such services. This will enable local residents to have access to useful information and services on many topics, such as education, public health and government services.
The Internet plays a central role in developing and augmenting the capacities of the youth. However, use of the Internet also entails new risks regarding their safety and protection both in the physical and virtual worlds. Therefore, it is important to understand how to implement appropriate measures and enhance their effectiveness rather than quick-fix interventions to limit children’s online access which can cause a loss of benefits the Internet can deliver. However, there has been only limited research on child online safety measures in Asia and the Pacific.
In support of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS) initiative, Internet Society (ISOC) has been mapping out the Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in Member States of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission of Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The interactive map shows a heat map of IXPs along with the percentage of coverage. It also tallies the number of major cities in each Member State, and shows the number of covered versus uncovered cities.
A new era of connectivity has dawned in Nepal with its partnership with China to improve the nation’s ICT connectivity network. It was announced that Nepal Telecom and China Telecom Global worked together to lay optical fiber cables between Kerung in China and Rasuwagadi in Nepal connected through the hub at Sudhara in Kathmandu. The new fiber optic cable also provides an alternative in case of natural disasters such as the devastating earthquake in 2015. This project also considers the possibilities for increased bandwidth in the future.