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Internet Access

Internet Access
Internet Access

Internet Access

I don’t know what Internet access is like where you live, or even where you live, but I come from the UK and live in northern Thailand. Internet access has come on in leaps and bounds since I first moved to this remote rice-growing village ten years ago.

In those days, I had to have my own satellite dish to connect to IPstar and for $100 p/m, I got 512/128. The state telecoms company was providing better speeds, but the twelve phone lines into the village were already taken.

About five years ago, many more lines were installed, and I switched. It suddenly became 7MB/256. Now it is 12MB/256.

I can live with that as it will do whatever I need.

Now comes the interesting bit.

Many areas of Thailand have free Wi-Fi.

I am sure that you already know that Thailand is not a rich European power or a superpower like the US and Russia, but two years ago, I was in a provincial city, waiting for a bus, and my Wi-Fi kicked in. The shopkeeper told me proudly that the city provided free Wi-Fi, although connections were broken every twenty minutes.


Two weeks ago, while working on a letter like this to you, a new Wi-Fi connection was announcing itself.

Now, our village is tiny and remote, but the administrative centre for the ten villages around ours has put on a free signal for email and ‘uncomplicated Internet tasks’.

That means that you can look at a website, but not dig deeper. However, most people here only want email, ant that is now free.

It has meant that hundreds of people have been able to cancel their Wi-Fi connection, saving them $20 p/m or two days wages.

How does that compare with your local authority?

I cannot speak for my home town in South Wales, as I haven’t been there for three years, but I am proud of this and hope that other local authorities around the world follow suit.

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All the best,


Podcast: Internet Access

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