The Thai government has told the two state-owned telecommunications companies to support a national broadband project, instead of worrying about 3G licensing. The government aims to make broadband available for as little as THB 150 to 200 per month to boost uptake of broadband, the Bangkok Post reports citing ICT minister Juti Kririksh. The minister said that all parties involved in planning for 3G should now shift their focus to a single broadband network and that 3G is only part of the national broadband project.
The ministry is considering combining the telecommunications networks of the three state-owned electricity firms, TOT, and CAT Telecom, and the three private mobile operators into a single broadband network. The plan would expand broadband coverage to 80 percent of the population by 2015 and to 95 percent in 2020. Monthly fees would be no more than 2 percent of average incomes, which would be around THB 150 to 200, compared with current fees of around THB 599 per month. The ICT ministry is drafting a master plan to propose to a broadband committee headed by prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva before submitting it to the cabinet for approval.