The south-east Asian country has embarked on an ambitious “Smart Thailand” project in order to increase its competitiveness on a regional as well as on a global level, and make ICT progress easier. The project is part of a national ICT framework called “ICT2020”, a development blueprint affecting all parts of the economy, especially the government sector. The project consists of two main parts: a “smart network” project that will bring ICT infrastructure up to date, and a “smart government” project that will have the same effect on government services.
Under “smart network”, the government aims to expand the coverage of the country’s broadband network from it’s current coverage of 33% of the population to 80% in the next three years and 95% by the year 2020. A solid ICT infrastructure is considered a vital prerequisite to becoming a smart country.
Under “smart government”, all government services in four key areas (education, health, government service and agriculture) will be converted to an electronic platform. These services, a total of about 800, will become available online through ICT and will also have a stronger cooperation with each other.
In addition to these two main components, “smart Thailand” will be further supported by a free Wifi scheme, under which a number of busy urban areas as well as remote areas which fibre optics technology will be unable to reach, will be given Wifi access. The cooperation of government companies and the private sector is expected to create a total of 250,000 free Wifi hot spots throughout the country within the next five years.
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