ICT reaffirms development of nationwide Wi-Fi hotspot project

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BANGKOK 16 May 2014  — The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has reaffirmed its stance on pushing forward with its plan to provide free Wi-Fi nationwide.

According to Deputy ICT Minister, Surachai Srisankam, the ICT has been in the process of installing a total of 105,000 Wi-Fi hotspots around the country in order to provide free internet usage for the country. The Ministry has reportedly been given a budget of 950 million baht for the project, by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission.

Initially, the plan was to hire the TOT as the sole contractor to install all the free Wi-Fi hotspots. However, due to the company’s constraints, the ICT later adjusted its plan, breaking the Wi-Fi project into 77 different smaller ones, one in each province, across the nation.

Local companies in all the provinces will be the ones installing the free Wi-Fi hotspots instead of the TOT. The ministry estimated that the entire project should take no more than 3 years to complete. Every hotspot will be able to offer a 4-5 megabit/second download speed.

Mr. Surchai added that the Wi-Fi will go ahead as planned despite the absence of a working Cabinet, which has affected the ministry’s many other projects.