B5.97bn for undersea internet cables

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has approved an investment framework for three undersea fibre optic cables to greatly boost Thailand's international internet capacity.

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Youngyuth Maiyalap, spokesman for the NCPO, said the three projects were costed at a total of 5.97 billion baht.

The planned projects are:

1. Asean-Africa-Europe (AAE 1), estimated cost 1.4 billion baht;

2. Southeast Asia-Middle East-western Europe (SEA-ME-WE), 1.3 billion baht;

3. Southeast Asia-Japan (SJC Thailand Branch), 2.27 billion baht.

The rest of the estimated cost was for infrastructure for the three cables.

He said the project will help TOT Plc increase the capacity of internet services from the existing 900 gigabites per second (gbs) to 1,800 gbs for the first two projects and up to 3,700 gbs for the third project.

The cables will upgrade Thailand's capacity to offer internet services and increase the country’s competitiveness on Asean connectivity. The  projects will provide links to four countries -- Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and France -- that are core countries of the internet system.

The Policy Committee for State-owned Enterprises will decide on priorities for the  undersea cables and  source the funds. The projects should be completed within three years. TOT must also prepare an environmental impact assessment of the investment in the projects.

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