Govt to provide free high-speed internet for 3 years in 3,920 villages

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Secretary-General of NBTC, Takorn Tantasith.
Secretary-General of NBTC, Takorn Tantasith.

Bangkok – The government is planning to provide free high-speed internet in 3,920 villages across the country for three years, starting on August 1, 2018.

Secretary-General of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) Takorn Tantasith said that low-income villagers registered with the Ministry of Finance will be eligible for free high-speed internet service for three years. The program will cost approximately 4.68 billion baht, which will come from unused funds reallocated from the plan to provide telecommunications coverage and social services from 2012-2016.

According to the database of the Community Development Department in 2017, the average income of households in distant rural areas is 5,000 baht a month, while expenses average 10,000 baht.

The program is expected to benefit over 520,000 households and help reduce economic inequality between residents in urban and rural areas by providing access to information and opportunities for e-commerce and marketing. Even the most conservative estimate of 2,000 baht additional income per month per household can stimulate the grassroots economy by 12.48 billion baht per year.