Powering down to unplug overhead chaos for underground gain

Four major organisations, namely the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA), the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, have joined forces to replace overhead cables with underground ones along 116 routes. This substantial project, spanning across both Bangkok and other provinces, will cover a total distance of 213 kilometres.

Originally slated for last year, this project is part of a larger plan. This includes the rearrangement of overhead cables across 1,407 routes in Bangkok and the provinces, covering a combined length of 2,498 kilometres.

The private operators, owning the telecom and broadcasting cables, will collaborate with the aforementioned four organisations to ensure the project’s timely completion. A recent meeting between the management representatives of these four parties agreed upon the operating costs for each entity to avoid any further delays.

Under the agreement, NBTC will subsidise the cost of cable removal, with MEA and PEA providing financial backing for some parts of the equipment involved in the removal process.

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In the same vein, National Telecom (NT), a state telecom enterprise that owns conduits along 4,360 kilometres of roads nationwide, will reconsider a new rental rate to entice telecom operators for long-term rental agreements.

Past plans for 2023 had aimed to lay cables underground across 158 routes covering a total length of 267 kilometres. However, due to unforeseen delays, cables were laid underground on only three routes in Bangkok, spanning 7.4 kilometres, and 39 routes in the provinces, covering 47 kilometres. This leaves the remaining work of 116 routes, covering a distance of 213 kilometres, to be completed this year.

Moreover, previous plans for rearranging existing overhead cables in 2023 and 2024 aimed to cover 1,594 routes, spanning a distance of 3,047km. However, only 187 routes with a combined length of 548 kilometres were covered in 2023.

An anonymous telecom industry source attributes the missed targets to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and political uncertainties. However, he also noted that the previous government had shown serious intent to improve the appearance of the country’s cities and provinces by laying overhead cables underground and rearranging overhead cables, reported Bangkok Post

Between 2018 and 2023, the organisations involved managed to rearrange overhead cables along 290 routes covering 1,606 kilometres in Bangkok and adjacent areas, and along 8,168 routes covering 16,844 kilometres in the provinces. From 2017 to 2023, they laid overhead cables underground on 129 routes both in Bangkok and the provinces covering a combined length of 183 kilometres.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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