Asia and the Pacific has been going through a fundamental transformation induced by digital technology and connectivity. The region has been a driving force of such digital transformation - be it artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, cloud computing or blockchain.
Despite rapid technological advancements reported in some of the member countries of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), rural schools in developing countries are left largely unconnected and under-resourced. The slow progress poses two challenges.
Access to the Internet contributes to socio-economic development. However, access to affordable and reliable broadband connectivity is not universal, particularly in countries with special needs (Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Land-locked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)).
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.