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BANGKOK 20 June 2019 07:53
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Wired for a better rural future

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Wired for a better rural future 

By Asina Pornwasin 
The Nation weekend

 

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Rollout of fibre optics in remote villages aims to boost education, healthcare and local economies under the ambitious Net Pracharat programme

 

REDUCING inequality, creating opportunities for people in rural areas and building the competitiveness of the country.

 

These are the cited reasons behind the government’s programme to bring digital infrastructure to all people throughout the country and to increase their knowledge and access to services as they use the Net Pracharat network.

 

Ajarin Pattanapanchai, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, said they have educated people throughout the country on how to utilise the infrastructure network of Net Pracharat.

 

This is being done because the programme will have long-term benefits that include both economic and social impacts for the country.

 

With Net Pracharat, all Thais will have equitable and affordable access to several sources of information and services, including for education, healthcare, e-commerce and government services, said Ajarin.

 

This would lead the country toward the path of long-term stability, prosperity and sustainability, Ajarin said.

 

Hard infrastructure

 

The Village Broadband Internet (Net Pracharat) project’s infrastructure was completed in December 2017, when MDES and Telephone of Thailand Public Company Limited (TOT) laid down the last of a fibre cable network targeting 24,700 rural villages throughout the Kingdom. 

 

One of Thailand’s national flagship projects, Net Pracharat aims to ensure reliable digital infrastructure and equitable access to information and communication technology throughout the country.

 

Meanwhile, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is responsible for 3,920 villages in border areas, and the remaining 15,732 target villages in rural areas. 

 

In 2019, the ministry continues to emphasise the use of Net Pracharat, with volunteers in 24,700 villages, as the young generation and community leaders work to coordinate the project. They report to the ministry about the daily functioning of the high-speed internet Net Pracharat network, other infrastructure-related suggestions, as well as the other needs of local people. 

 

In collaboration with the Ministry of Interior (MOI), training sessions have already reached one million local people.

 

The ministry has also focused on the community digital centres in each village, transforming each locale into a learning centre for the Net Pracharat project and allowing further development of the network to advance local community economic benefit. 

 

The ministry this year will emphasise creating applications and other uses on top of the Net Pracharat infrastructure including e-commerce, telemedicine and education.

 

The additional activities will include Thailand Post’s Point of Sale (POS) initiative to create a logistics platform for delivering products for the villages in support of local e-commerce through OTOP and community enterprises.  It aims to expand the POS infrastructure, offering e-marketplace, e-payment, and e-logistic services for the local digital communities, from 200 units to 5,000 units. 

 

About 900 people have already brought some 1,700 product items onto the platform and created revenues of Bt20 million for community enterprises.

 

This year, the ministry will also focus on finding ways to leverage the Net Pracharat infrastructure for public health benefits. The 30/10 megabits per second (Mbps) network speed as is not enough for establishing telemedicine, so the ministry, working with the Ministry of Public Health, will next upgrade the network speed to 100 Mbps to enable it in 10 locations.

 

Fibre optics for schools

 

Fibre optics will also be deployed this year by the ministry to support school initiatives, bringing high-speed internet to 2,000 to 3,000 schools throughout the country, including the Border Patrol Police School. The Ministry of Education will also be involved.

 

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society will also build the fibre optics network to reach over 800 Tambon Health Promoting Hospitals, the first level of the public health service system in  communities.  “The initiative delivering fibre optics to hospitals is to encourage telemedicine to become a reality throughout the country,” said Ajarin.

 

The ministry is also working to prepare for the 5G era, as it establishes a 5G test bed and conducts 5G field trials at a digital park in the Eastern Economic Corridor.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Startup_and_IT/30368022

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-04-21

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12 minutes ago, rooster59 said:

equitable and affordable access to several sources of information and services, including for education, healthcare, e-commerce and government services, said Ajarin.

affordable according to who ? and what devices will these extremely poor receive the signals ?

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This was already being delivered by True a subsidy of CP and a staunch ally of the Junta. It was part of the movement and used as a tool probably for the hope of votes.

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53 minutes ago, YetAnother said:

affordable according to who ?

In our area at the low end they offer 10mbps unlimited for 250/month which is both way faster and way cheaper than mobile internet. They run fiber optic lines to the most remote and poor people out in the middle of nowhere you can think of. Stop complaining about everything and dreaming up conspiracy theories. Props to a good and successful program.

 

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Perfection is not achievable in this world. Just to see sensible & steady progress in rural Thailand is a godsend. With the technology increasingly in place, cultural change & economic progress will follow - but it will take a decade or 2.

 

And then Thailand will be like everywhere else and tourism will come to an end.

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Thailand's high levels of Internet availability and performance are a major advantage over competing countries when attracting the growing cohort of travelers who work online, or even people who simply enjoy spending time online.

While Vietnam is cheaper and the Philippines can be more fun, and both are far easier to stay in for long stretches, the lack of consistent Internet connectivity turns out to be a surprisingly difficult disadvantage to ignore. When returning to Thailand, I am always relieved that it isn't something I have to worry about.

It may sound ridiculous, but don't underestimate the extent to which that factor might be propping up current Western spending in Thailand. All the other complaints - lousy exchange rates, worsening attitudes, military government, increasing visa red tape and financial requirements - can be absorbed and tolerated in a way that the daily annoyance of slow, unreliable Internet connectivity cannot. 

If competing countries finally figure out broadband, it could trigger a significant shift way from Thailand. Hell, if the Filipinos also figure out how to cook it could be Game Over 😄

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up my way in issan yes they ran fiber through the villages but copper into the homes if you want fiber to home go and talk to a light post

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31 minutes ago, RotMahKid said:

Why you think Google, Amazon, One web and Space X all want to bring satellites in orbit for spreading internet worldwide, They don't do it for free, the all do it for profit to reach the billions of people that don't have internet Yet.

That's why the government here in Thailand and other companies here do it also, for Profit and political reasons.

So don't think they all do that because they like you so much, they just need customers and votes!

But for the customers - whether you & me or the locals - it's not the motivation that counts, just the end result.

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Posted (edited)

why not add more books and journals to local libraries, instead? books and journals can be shared and reused.  and on the internet today the only stuff worth 2 cents requires subscriptions, unless you read only the abstracts.... with very few exceptions.

 

Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk even Bill Gates, all almost as famous for their summer book reading lists than for being technology billionaires..... not internet stuff.  even in 2019. and when it is on line... it is always with an expensive subscription.... or only worth what it costs.  with one of only a very few exceptions that I know of.... that being the Thai Visa.com website.  not joking on that.

Edited by WeekendRaider
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what is the point of ultra high speed for foreigners? I thought accessing servers abroad was limited to 50 mbps, or is that all in the past now.

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5 hours ago, RotMahKid said:

Profit and political reasons.

Exactly, it is important for those in control to maintain control, always has been, off course they have to make a profit also! 

You watch what they want you to watch & never forget they are watching your every action & that is filed away for that - just in case we need it day 😳

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