In an effort to make high-speed broadband access available in all districts of the country, the Thai government has started a “Smart Thailand” initiative that will enable rural residents to access e-government services locally in their tambons, rather than travel to the main district town for services.
As reported in the Bangkok Post, the plan will utilize smart card IDs that will allow residents to submit their house registrations online and consult with doctors in Bangkok. Social welfare services will be tied to the cards, and residents will be able to get public information about other government initiatives. Students will be able to study in virtual classrooms.
The Thai government has invested heavily in building a broadband network, spending 6.3% of gross national income per capita on the infrastructure. The government hopes to push the overall broadband penetration up from 5.7% of the population to 80% of the population by 2015.
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