There is a quickening sense of tempo for Internet service providers in many parts of South Asia and Southeast Asia, as new satellite constellations, Google balloons and possibly other methods are proposed for rapidly bringing affordable Internet access to everyone.
Consider Thailand. Though details are yet unsettled, Thailand wants to launch a national high speed access program to reach literally all villages in Thailand, and provide affordable Internet access for all, within about 18 months.
If implemented, the initiative could affect the addressable market for new providers, as well as market share of mobile and fixed service providers in rural areas of Thailand.
In other words, Internet service providers will have to move faster to take advantage of market opportunities, as competition is building.
“Infrastructure is the fundamental factor of the digital economy,” said Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula.
The focus on digital-economy policy is touted as the key foundation of the country’s economic development. To be sure, previous governments have made the same argument.
Thai internet access adoption currently is about 26 percent of households.