The Village Broadband Internet Project in Thailand
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. The main objective of the Net Pracharat project is to strengthen the national broadband network by expanding high-speed Internet network to reach every village, for better rural access to broadband Internet.
Net Pracharat was developed by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) in collaboration with Telephone of Thailand Public Company Limited (TOT) and other government departments. MDES and TOT completed the installation of fibre cable networks to 24,700 target rural villages throughout Thailand by December 2017. As of November 2018, there were 4.5 million users registered to access the Net Pracharat Wi-Fi. Through this connectivity, rural villagers were able to access necessary government information and e-services. It is also expected to offer rural villagers opportunities to participate in e-commerce thereby employment and income. Further details on this project can be accessed here
Governments of Asia-Pacific countries have endorsed a Master Plan and a Regional Cooperation Framework Document to facilitate the subregional/regional policy dialogue between interested stakeholders to addressing ICT challenges. Further information on the AP-IS initiative can be found here.