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Korean telecoms giant enters Phuket IT market

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Korean telecoms giant enters Phuket IT market | Thaiger

PHUKET: South Korea’s largest fixed-line telecommunications provider, KT Corp, has entered the Thai IT market with a 98-million-baht deal to install 5,000 ADSL ports, providing broadband Internet access, in Phuket.

The contract is part of the TOT’s expansion of Internet services, a key component of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Ministry’s push to make Phuket an “ICT City”.

Speaking at the official launch on July 14, Aran Permpiboon, Senior Executive Vice-President and Acting President of the TOT, said, “We will be installing 5,000 ADSL ports and an additional 19,530 telephone numbers. With Phuket as a tourist destination and the variety of businesses here, this project will boost the local economy by at least 15%.”

He said that the improved ADSL services will also aid the development of services that are not directly dependent on Internet services, such as medical treatment and e-education.

Yong-Kyung Lee, President & CEO of KT Corp, said, “It’s important to have the participation of the private sector in this kind of project. In Korea, the government’s contribution is mainly [in the form of] the promotion of broadband uses and access to the Internet backbone, but we need participation from the private sector as well.”

Mr Lee explained that KT’s entry into the Thai IT market is part of the company’s push into other markets abroad. “We have incorporated companies in Russia, China, Japan and the US and have also contacted officers [to set up operations] in India and Vietnam,” Mr Lee explained. “We have just started working with Thailand, and if it’s successful we expect to work together more in the future.”

Jetsak Bunsuya, Vice-President of the TOT’s Southern Region Operations Department, said that the TOT plans to have 200,000 ADSL ports around the country by the end of the year, with Phuket being the first province to be upgraded.

“The ICT Ministry plans to have a million ADSL ports installed in Thailand by the end of 2005,” he said, adding that it is expected that half of the ports will be provided by the TOT and the other half by the Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT), though the deal has yet to be confirmed.

“Although there is a large demand for ADSL in Phuket, it’s not that easy to provide because it needs a large amount of funding,” he said.

K. Jetsak also said that KT’s involvement will initially be restricted to installing and operating broadband services. Whether it will join the ranks of Loxinfo, KSC and CAT as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is still under negotiation.

“We expect them to be an ISP for broadband Internet access in Thailand because they have a lot of experience and are experts in this technology,” he said. “KT offers solutions and applications for broadband access. However, we are still discussing whether they will be [able to go into business as] an ISP or not.”

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

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Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and Kolour events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions

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Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | Thaiger

Three of Thailand’s biggest expat areas are seeing sharp rises in new infections, partly from pre-Songkran traffic. The Songkran holidays, now officially over (but will see many people taking today off and making a weekend Songkran extension), and the government says they are expecting to see a rise in the cases numbers reported in the popular holiday locations.

Chon Buri Public Health office says they now have a total of 910 infections since April 1. They have 103 new cases in the past 24 hours. Most new cases are in Bang Lamung district which includes Pattaya City with 47, Siracha with 12) & Chon buri City with 8.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile Phuket has a total of 142 infections recorded on the island with the Governor still insisting there will be no need for a lockdown. Here’s a breakdown of the areas and the numbers of recorded infections so far (below).

Governor Narong announced that the Phuket Infectious Disease Control Committee won’t be implementing an official lockdown, but will “strictly raise the intensity of public health measures to counter the spread of Covid-19″.

“Everyone should wear a face mask, maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently and install the Mor Chana app (available for free from App Store and Google Play Store).”

A meeting of the CCSA, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to upgrade restrictions in red zone areas around the country, which includes Phuket and Pattaya. Read more about the latest red and orange zones HERE.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

For Hua Hin expats, there’s been 100 new Covid-19 infections announced in Prachuap Khiri Khan in the past 24 hours, 75 cases from Hua Hin. This takes the total in the province since April 1 to 625. Hua Hin accounts for nearly 90% of the district’s total cases.

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Transport

Footbridges stop luxury yacht travelling from Phuket to Samui

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Footbridges stop luxury yacht travelling from Phuket to Samui | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand's version of the Suez Canal blockage.

Footbridges in Phuket stood in the way of a luxury yacht travelling from its home in Phuket to Koh Samui when the boat was too tall to pass. Police received a call around 8 pm last night from the truck driver after his trailer carrying the yacht had trouble getting under one of several bridges for walkers to pass over the highway. The boat was travelling down Thepkrasattri Road, where it was stopped by the bridge near Baan Tha Reua School. The boat also had trouble at the pedestrian bridge at the Provincial Electricity Authority Thalang Branch and the bridge at Baan Lipon School in Srisoonthorn.

All the bridges were supposed to have a 5-metre clearance, though one observer speculated that all the repaving of the road over the years may have raised the road and lowered the clearance. Traffic police responded to the first bridge incident by sending officers to direct traffic and make sure bikes and cars didn’t pass and impeded progress on freeing the boat. The second incident about 30 minutes later was resolved by letting air out of the truck’s tires to lower it just enough to pass under the bridge. The third snag prompted the driver to go in person to the Thalang Police station to request help yet again.

This time police were less amused and suggested the truck driver try to resolve the issue himself and call back to the police only if he was unable to free the luxury yacht. A traffic police officer went to follow up with the stranded boat at the end of his shift and found the driver had given up and decided to return the yacht to its Phuket origin at Boat Lagoon Marina in Koh Kaew. The boat, now damaged from the bridge bumps, wasn’t going to make it to Surat Thani to be sailed to Koh Samui on this journey. The boat radar had broken off on one of the bridges. No word on any major damage to the pedestrian bridges.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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