Free WiFi soon for select communities
published : 31 Aug 2020 at 18:21
writer: KOMSAN TORTERMVASANA
The Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry plans to roll out free WiFi services for urban communities, starting with 10 communities from Oct 1.
CAT Telecom will be responsible for arranging the services, which will initially target five communities in Bangkok and five in provinces.
The scheme will provide a broadband internet speed at 300 megabits per second (mbps) for download and 100mbps for upload.
The programme is aimed at enabling people in dense communities to use WiFi for their daily life, particularly in the post-pandemic period.
DES Minister Buddhipongse Punnkanta said the ministry wants to give people free internet services to allow them to cope with difficulties doing business and in daily life in the digital era.
CAT and the DES Ministry looked at 20 communities for the project, settling on 10 for the first batch, he said.
“The project does not require much money to install routers, related equipment and platforms linked with CAT’s backbone infrastructure,” said Mr Buddhipongse.
The National Digital Economy and Society Committee (NDESC) yesterday launched the “smart sign-on” programme where people can carry out a one-time registration of the government’s existing free WiFi services through a web portal or www.th-wifi.net.
In the past, people were required to register repeatedly for access to different WiFi service providers participating in the free public WiFi scheme.
After being registered, users will receive their usernames and passwords.
NDESC secretary-general Vunnaporn Devahastin said the approach helps people gain access to free broadband internet services offered by different providers with one set of credentials only.
The campaign is a cooperation between CAT, Advanced Info Service, True Corporation and the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.
Users can type “@TH Wi-Fi by … (internet provider)” and use the same username and password to log in.
Ms Vunnaporn said the system will check the qualifications of the registrants for free WiFi services with the Department Of Provincial Administrative’s database.
The first phase of the free public WiFi service was launched in 2017. Some 900,000 people have registered under the scheme, consisting of 340,000 people aged up to 21; 390,000 people aged 22-39; 130,000 people aged 40-54 as well as 40,000 people aged 55-99.
“We want to avoid the hassles of using free WiFi that requires multiple registrations through different providers,” she said. “Users can be assured of internet security when accessing free WiFi services thanks to CAT Telecom guidelines.”
Ms Vunnaporn said people can access free public WiFi hotspots in community locations, such as educational institutes, government service facilities and bus stations as well as tourist attractions across the country.