The Thai broadband market is due to receive a boost – quite literally, in the form of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology, according to the Bangkok Post. Local company Fiber-to-Home Co Ltd says it is planning to introduce FTTH technology in Bangkok to provide broadband communications service at up to 100Mbps, the fastest commercial broadband service in the country by far. The company has yet to announce its rollout schedule or details of its price plans.
The issue of pricing will be vital to the success of the new service. Whilst broadband take-up in the Thai corporate sector is exploding, residential broadband is still very much the domain of the privileged, and high speed technologies account for less than 10% of the country’s six million-plus internet accounts. The main factor hindering growth is the lack of an unbundled local loop and the prohibitive leasing charges set by network providers TOT, True and TT&T for ISPs. An executive at ISP CS Loxinfo has been quoted as saying that the network operators charge as much as THB590 per access a month, around ten times the price being paid by ISPs in Japan. The country’s new regulator, the NTC, has said that one of its main priorities is a public consultation on the country’s internet policy, with particular focus on LLU and access prices.