Operators told to support 'work from home' effort

Operators told to support 'work from home' effort

Speed, capacity need to be increased

People can be seen wearing face masks and using mobile phones at a skytrain station in Bangkok yesterday as telecom operators discussed ways to boost internet connectivity for their customers working from home. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
People can be seen wearing face masks and using mobile phones at a skytrain station in Bangkok yesterday as telecom operators discussed ways to boost internet connectivity for their customers working from home. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The telecom regulator has ordered mobile and fixed broadband operators to seek ways to boost speed and capacity for services, in line with government policies to support people working from home during the latest wave of the pandemic.

Operators were also urged to maintain their quality of service and internet signals to ensure smooth communications during the critical period of data traffic usage.

The order was made when the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) held a special meeting with six operators to discuss assistance measures. The operators attending were Advanced Info Service (AIS), True Move H Universal Communication (TUC), Total Access Communication (DTAC), TOT, CAT Telecom and Triple Three Broadband (3BB).

NBTC acting secretary-general Trairat Viriyasirikul said his organisation urged the operators to seek proper measures to help people working from home during this period.

Representatives of the operators discussed broad scenarios, but no conclusion was made as to what kinds of assistance would be provided or how they would increase the speed or capacity of internet services in relation to existing service packages which customers subscribe to, he said.

"The next meeting is slated for Monday and the operators may come up with a resolution and the conclusion is expected to be drawn at that time."

Last April, the operators, through collaboration with the NBTC, offered 10 gigabytes of free data usage for a month during the first wave of the pandemic.

The financial support for the assistance was drawn from the NBTC's Broadcasting and Telecommunication Research Development Fund.

However, at this present time, no financial support has yet to be given to the operators, said an NBTC source.

The source said the delay resulted from the process of verifying call data records and data usage and the NBTC board is awaiting a clear figure of the service cost which will be passed on to the operators. The source said the second wave of the pandemic differs from the first because the current one does not include a prohibition of transport across provinces and no curfew time is applied.

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