A Thai professor at the Pathum Thani-based Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) has won the Internet Society's award for her role in establishing and promoting the internet in Southeast Asia.
Prof Kanchana Kanchanasut was selected by an international award committee comprising former winners of the Jonathan B Postel award, which places emphasis on candidates who have supported and enabled others to access the internet in addition to their own specific actions.
Prof Kanchana, director of AIT's Internet Education and Research Laboratory, was among the first to bring the internet to Thailand in the 1980s.
In 1986, she teamed up with a Thai colleague to build the first computer network at the AIT, which enabled communication by email with computer scientists outside the country.
After expanding connectivity beyond Thailand with other countries in the region and the global networking community through the 1990s, Prof Kanchana set up the Internet Education and Research Laboratory (interLAB) at AIT, which supports internet computer science and educates engineering students.
In 2015, Prof Kanchana started the Bangkok Internet Exchange (BKNIX), the first open and neutral internet exchange point in Southeast Asia.
"Kanchana's devotion and pioneering work has helped extend the internet to people both in Thailand and across Southeast Asia," said Gonzalo Camarillo, chair of the Internet Society Board of Trustees, who presented the award to her in South Korea.
"Beyond the networking infrastructure, her work has spread understanding about the internet across academia, industry and government," he added.
The US-based Internet Society is an international, non-profit organisation founded in 1992 to provide leadership in internet-related standards, education, access, and policy. Its stated mission is "to promote the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world".